MP Calls for Talabani’s Removal; Veto of Provinces Law called Unconstitutional

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.

Al -Zaman reports in Arabic that female member of parliament on the Sadrist list, Maha al-Duri, charged that the Kurdistan Alliance and the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq have a secret alliance whereby they outmaneuver other parties in their quest to impose a very loose form of federalism on Iraq. The Sadrists want a strong central government and the end of US military surveillance in Iraq.

McClatchy reports political violence in Iraq on Saturday:

‘ Baghdad

- Around 8 am a roadside detonated in Jihad neighborhood (west Baghdad). One person was injured with some damage to his Shovel.

- Around 10 am a roadside bomb targeted an army patrol in Sleikh intersection(north Baghdad). Two soldiers were injured.

- Around 2 pm a roadside bomb targeted civilians in Kamb Sara in Adhamiyah neighborhood (north Baghdad). Six people were injured (including 1 policeman and two Sahwa members).

- Around 3 p.m. gunmen attacked and injured awakening council official in Daowdi neighborhood, west Baghdad.

- Around 4 p.m. a roadside bomb targeted awakening council member, a U.S. backed militia, in Sleikh neighborhood, injuring two militia members.

- Police found one dead body throughout Baghdad in Baladiyat neighborhood.

Kirkuk

- On Friday night a gunman with silencer opened fire on an American patrol in downtown Kirkuk. A 14 year-old kid was killed in that incident .

- In the morning gunmen opened fire on a combined patrol from Iraqi security forces and Americans. One Iraqi policeman was killed and another was injured.’