Require Radical Remedy
The Iraqi parliament, in its session on 1st August 2011, ended the first reading of the draft law on political parties submitted by the government. The draft law, which has been long-awaited, is regarded as a step in the right direction, as well as stipulating a number of proper democratic principles for setting up and financing parties, and including an emphasis on the adoption of the principle of citizenship as the basis for party formation. But the draft law has triggered a lot of controversy on many of its clauses which have contained serious shortcomings. These shortcomings are considered by some politicians and legal experts as a grave violation of the Constitution in the area of freedoms, amounting to a restriction of these freedoms, and an effort to legitimize blatant interference by the executive branch in the affairs of party life and violating their independence.
- Specifying the Administrative Judiciary Court as the body that grants the license for founding parties. It is controlled by the executive power.
- Broad interference in the internal organization of parties and violation of their rights. Article 32/II constitutes a violation of the principles of freedom and independence. According to the formulations of the law, the rights of parties to decide their own internal systems are usurped by the executive branch. The articles of the draft law, in more than one place, allow the possibility of the executive power withholding the license of a party or suspending its activity.
- According to the draft law, principles in a party program that are determined to be identical to those of other parties, and cannot be distinguished from them, are considered a reason not to grant it a license (Article 8/II). In the absence of standards and grounds for such distinguishing, this text would be subject to contradictory interpretations.
- Suspending the activity of any party can be done through a report prepared and submitted by an employee in the "Department of Parties."