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Feb 02 2011

Al-Iraqiya accuses UN of meddling in Iraqi affairs

By Yaser Ali Baghdad - A deputy from the al-Iraqiya List led by Ayad Allawi accused on Wednesday the United Nations of interfering in Iraqi affairs following the UN Secretary General in Iraq Ed Melkert's call to support the recent Federal Court decision that links a number of "independent" bodies directly to the Cabinet.

Al-Iraqiya deputy Hani Ashour told AKnews that Melkert's comments contravene the mission of the UN in Iraq which is to support the country in its democratic foundations and help the Iraqi people without interfering in constitutional and legal details.

On Monday, Melkert appealed to the political blocs to respect the decisions of the Federal Court and the right of Parliament to discuss the implications of their decisions, stressing on the need for definition of the independence of institutions and to find a balance between the executive and legislative branches through dialogue.

"The natural role of the Council of Representatives is to consider the implications of such decisions through dialogue between parliament and the government to agree on the definition of independence," he told reporters in Baghdad.

Ashour said that the UN must promote the convergence of views between the political parties, and not to offer its support to any one faction.

What is at stake here, said the al-Iraqiya deputy, is the "independence of the Iraqi institutions according to the constitution".

The Federal Court issued on January 18 a ruling that links a number of independent bodies to the chairmanship of the Council of Ministers and not to the chairmanship of the parliament in response to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's request to interpret the constitutional article concerning independent bodies.

The bodies that the federal court ruling put under the jurisdiction of Maliki's cabinet include the Supreme Commission of Human Rights, the Independent Higher Electoral Commission (IHEC), the Integrity Commission, the Iraqi Central Bank, the Financial Inspection Office and the Media and Communications committee.

"Most of the Iraqi political blocs support the independence of the independent bodies," Ashour continued, adding that Maliki's initial request was in itself a breach of the Iraqi constitution as "any decision issued by the Ministers council should be discussed by all the ministers before issuance".

The bill's opponents say that it reflects the desire of the Prime Minister to control the independent bodies, thus increasing his own power to the detriment of the principles of national partnership upon which Iraq's foundling government is meant to be founded.

The ruling, they say contravenes both articles 103 and 104 of the Iraqi constitution's chapter IV which clearly state that these bodies are financially and administratively independent and subject to the supervision of parliament which regulates their work according to the law.

© AK News 2011

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