An entertaining Iraqi parliamentary session


The second Iraqi parliamentary session, which was held last week in Baghdad, was illegitimate and unconstitutional. In fact, it was not even useful in favor of the issue it convened for, which is related to Basra. However, it had a few benefits.

The first session was held and it ended as if it had never been held. It is like it only served the purpose of recording the attendance of MPs so that they receive their salaries and ensure that their entitlements are entirely paid, whether the parliament achieves its goals or whether it remains captive of disputes and conflicts among political powers that are only concerned with governmental positions which are considered a source of wealth.

The benefits

It’s for the sake of these posts and not anything else that the session was dismissed, without achieving its main objectives: electing the Presidency of the House of Representatives and which is the first step to proceed with the subsequent constitutional work such as electing the President of the Republic and identifying the largest parliamentary bloc and appointing it to form the new government.

The second session looked more like a chitchat party in a popular coffee shop rather than a session of the highest authority in the country that is convening amid dangerous circumstances. Yet it had its benefits as I mentioned earlier.

The first benefit was that the media broadcast an interesting TV segment, worth watching attentively from the beginning to the end.

The second benefit was that it offered the Iraqi people proof that the political class, which is controlling everything, has learnt nothing from its failed and destructive experience of over 15 years. Thus, it will never learn.

The third benefit was that the session showed that this class needs to be re-educated and trained on rules of good behavior, from the primary stage to university. In the primary and preparatory stage, we learnt how to raise our hands to ask for permission to speak, and we learnt how to be polite while talking to others. We also learnt how to show respect and appreciate our teachers, principals of our schools and each other. All this was practiced only partly in the second session.

The fourth benefit was that the outgoing government has appeared to us like it’s in a weak situation that deserves pity. This is proof that the government with its leader and members, or at least most of them, are not competent, experienced and professional enough to run the government of a country like Iraq. Thus it is essential that a new government is formed according to rules and conditions that are completely different than previous ones that have governed forming the current and previous governments.

In the end, it should be noted that Basra’s governor, who had been appointed for just a year, was distinguished with his calmness, discipline, honesty, courage and grief over his city Basra that is burning. If, moreover, he has integrity, then there is no doubt that he deserves to be nominated for the premiership of the new government.

Adnan Hussein is the executive editor-in-chief of Al-Mada newspaper and head of the National Union of Iraqi journalists. Previously, he has held the position of Managing Editor in Asharq al-Awsat newspaper. He tweets under the handle@adnanhussein.

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