Mudarrisi Loose Federalism In Interim

Mudarrisi: Loose Federalism in Interim Constitution a Time Bomb

Sayyid Muhammad Taqi al-Mudarrisi, a leading Shiite cleric of Karbala, has warned that there are explosive mines in the interim constitution, in the article on federalism. In an interview with az-Zaman, he said the law could lead to the outbreak of civil war in Iraq. He was referring to a clause that gave the three Kurdish provinces (or indeed any three provinces) the right to veto a new constitution. He said that the provision could lead to a loose federalism being imposed on the Arab majority. He said that an alternative to loose federalism would be a presidential council that included one member each of the Kurds, Sunni Arabs and Shiite Arabs, along with the president and the speaker of the house. The Kurdish member could stand up for Kurdish interests.

Al-Mudarrisi said he had not heard whether he and his brother would be appointed to an expanded transitional assembly. He said he still had reservations about the interim governing council because it was formed in the shadow of a foreign occupation, but he admitted some positive things about the IGC, especially if it eventuated in legitimate elections. He expressed confidence that attempts to sow discord among Iraq’s religious and ethnic communities would fail, because Iraqis are one people.

Hesaid that the interim constitution is more a temporary set of rules for administering the state, and no constitution would be truly legitimate until it was crafted b an elected body of Iraqis.

Asked about the possibility of joining th religious leaderships of the two holy cities of Karbala and Najaf, al-Mudarrisi said that this step was unnecessary. He said that pluralism in the Shiite leadership, which reflects the major religious currents in the community, is a good thing. He did think it would be useful to have more consultation among the various Shiite religious leaders.