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Parliament's emergency session Fears from quorum shortage
04/12/2009 12:58:00

Baghdad (NINA) Parliament holds on Saturday, Dec. 5, an emergency session to debate the distribution of seats among provinces and the mechanism of calculating the minorities' seats in the Election Law.

The session has been called for after consultations and discussions between President Jalal Talabani and Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi over amending the Election Law.

Legislator from Fadheela Bloc, Kareem al-Yaqoubi, says that even though Parliament will discuss recent developments to amend the Election Law, yet Parliament can not vote on any thing since the Law is still at the Presidency.

He told NINA on Friday, Dec. 4, "If the Presidency has revoked the Law then Parliament can vote on it again or agrees on a certain mechanism, but Parliament can not introduce any thing on the Law after it was sent to the Presidency."

He added, "Yet, what Parliament can do is to draw a mechanism for the works of the Iraqi High Electoral Commission (IHEC) over the distribution of seats and the minorities' quotas as well as the voting of Iraqis abroad."

Yaqoubi went on saying, "Parliament's recommendations will then be sent to the IHEC; Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi will then ratifies the Law."

But some political analysts express fear that Parliament might lacks quorum because some legislators are on trips abroad as well as members of the Kurdish Alliance are in the Northern provinces.

According to Shaker Kittab, spokesman for TAJDEED Slate, "An agreement has been reached on Thursday evening between President Talabani and Vice President al-Hashimi to adopt the 2005 census records, with 2.8% annual population increase, for the Election Law." That already exists in the Law.

For his part, legislator from the Iraqi Arab Gathering, Omer al-Jobouri, called on Vice President al-Hashimi, "Not to trust political agreements in return for not revoking the Law once again."

"Since such agreements are not binding to all political forces." Jobouri added.

He added, "Hashimi should be aware of the current Law's dangers because it greatly harms the Northern, Western and Southern provinces. He ought to quickly take a stand."

When Parliament amended the Law, it deducted a number of parliamentary seats from Northern provinces giving them to Iraqi voters abroad.

It is note worthy that according to Article 56 of the Constitution; the President, Prime Minister, the Speaker or 50 legislators have the power to call Parliament for an emergency session to only debate the issue that Parliament has been called to meet for.

Amid such controversies, the Iraqis are waiting to see an agreed final draft of the Election Law. / End.

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