Friday, 18 January 2013

Iraqi CP: To defuse crisis and avert dangers of sectarian strife

Statement of the Iraqi Communist Party

All efforts are needed to defuse the current crisis

and avert the dangers of sectarian strife

The repercussions of the recent political crisis, sparked by the arrest of guards of the Iraqi Finance Minister, are continuing on various political and popular levels, with the potential of further complication and deterioration. This poses serious dangers threatening civil peace and the national fabric of the country. This crisis is a new episode, that is more dangerous, in the series of successive crises produced by the regime of sectarian-ethnic power-sharing and its attendant conflicts and disputes among the ruling forces to divide up political power and its spoils, the corruption plaguing the state and its institutions, and the terrible failure in the provision of basic services and the prerequisites of a decent living for broad sections of our people.
More than ten days ago demonstrations began in Anbar province and have spread in recent days to the provinces of Nineveh and Salahuddin, raising slogans and making several demands that are legitimate, such as the release of innocent detainees and prisoners, putting an end to shameful practices and flagrant violations of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution that are committed in prisons and detention centres against detainees, particularly women, and calling for firmly punishing the perpetrators. These demonstrations and their broad demands have also demonstrated the depth of the gap that separates citizens from the federal government and their local governments.
But alongside the moderate discourse and exercising the right to peaceful demonstration and protest guaranteed by the Constitution, and the legitimate demands which our party supports and calls for responding to them speedily, there are elements which harbor ill intentions for our country, inside and outside Iraq, that aim ​​to exploit the sentiments of discontent among the people and direct them to serve their suspicious objectives by trying to push the peaceful protests and demonstrations along narrow and fanatic sectarian and nationalist directions and to promote symbols and slogans drawn from the legacy of dictatorship and tyranny. Voices of dark forces connected to the former dictatorial regime were also raised recently, striving to militarize the demonstrations and calling for finishing off the political process.
Undoubtedly solving the country's problems cannot be achieved by clinging to and insisting on the positions that proved to be wrong and that failed in the practice and policy of ruling blocs. These blocs and their leaderships, first and foremost those responsible for the administration of the country, bear the primary responsibility for taking practical and speedy steps and measures to implement what is legitimate and possible among the demands in order to contain the crisis and vent the tensions, and to search seriously for ways out of the real dangers threatening the country whose ill effects cannot be averted through underestimating or disregarding them and leaving things to be dealt with in a spontaneous manner.
The time factor is important and decisive in dealing with what the country is facing. We warn against going too far and efforts aimed at procrastination, or threatening the use of force which will only make matters worse and more complex, as this would open the door to unforeseen consequences.
It is a time for serious and responsible action, rather than issuing statements and counter-statements which pour oil on the fire and further complicate the scene.
What is needed now and as soon as possible is to begin a serious dialogue and put forward bold initiatives that are commensurate with the critical time through which our country is passing. Efforts should be made to defuse the crisis, to work for calm and responsible dialogue, to respond to the just and legitimate demands of the people, both those concerning the parliament or the government, and to deny hostile elements of all hues the opportunity to exploit the situation.
Our Party calls upon all the patriotic forces and figures and civil society organizations, and all those among our people who are keen to prevent the country from being dragged by advocates of sectarian strife and fragmentation of national unity, to join efforts to press the influential forces to defuse the crisis and come together in a broad national conference that undertakes a review of the political process which is in crisis and produces solutions that would restore the political process to its sound track. Meanwhile, our previous call for early elections retains its validity, on the condition that all its prerequisites are met, including legislations guaranteeing the integrity of the electoral process in all its components and creating an atmosphere free of tension and stress.
Political Bureau
Iraqi Communist Party
Baghdad - 4th January 2013