War on Iraq

Controversy Swirls Around Baghdad as Member of Parliament Calls for President's Ouster

Is impeachment off the table over there too?
Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that a controversy is raging in the Iraqi parliament about the veto exercised by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani against a bill passed last week enabling elections in the fall. MP and former court judge Wael Abd al-Latif of the State Party charged that the veto was "unconstitutional." He said that when a bill is vetoed, it has to go back to parliament for another vote, and needs a 3/5s majority to overturn the veto. Abd al-Latif also pointed to the constitution's requirement that the presidential council act through consensus. In this case, Talabani and Adel Abdul Mahdi vetoed the bill while their colleague, the other vice president, Tariq al-Hashimi, was out of town! He should have been consulted about appointing a proxy to vote for him but was not.

A member of the Sunni fundamentalist Iraqi Accord Front, Khalaf al-Ulyan, called for Talabani to be removed from the presidency, on the grounds that his veto derived from ethnic solidarity rather than from a concern to act on behalf of the entire Iraqi nation. On Saturday, Talabani consulted with Massoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Regional Government, on the crisis. The bill had contained a provision apportioning power in Kirkuk province equally among Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds, while Kurds claim to be the majority there.
Juan Cole teaches Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan and is author of the forthcoming "Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East."
Stay Ahead of the Rest
Sign Up for AlterNet's Daily Newsletter
+ sign up for additional lists
[x]
Select additional lists by selecting the checkboxes below before clicking Subscribe:
Rights & Liberties
Education
Drugs
Economy
Environment
Labor
Food
World
Politics
Investigation
Personal Health
Water
Media