Interview with Iraqi Speaker of the House
The USG Open Source Center translates an important interview with Iraq’s Sunni Arab speaker of the parliament.
‘Speaker On Government Formation, Security, Sectariansim, Militias, Other Issues
Interview by Amir Ali al-Hassun with Representative Council Speaker Mahmud al-Mashhadani
Thursday, June 8, 2006 T06:57:47Z
For the first time in Iraq’s contemporary history, a parliament consisting of 275 members has been elected through free and honest elections. The parliament will be chaired by Dr Mahmud al-Mashhadani for the next four years. In this interview, we present a quick review of the ideas of this man and what is going on in his mind regarding expectations for the future of the political process in Iraq.
(Al-Hassun) First of all doctor, let us start with what happened in the parliament’s recent session. Proceedings were delayed because of some articles in the Iraqi constitution which a number of political sides want amended while they are busy forming the national unity government. What is your comment on this delay and the government formation?
(Al-Mashhadani) Praise Allah, and peace be upon His prophet. The program and work paper that were presented were balanced. First we formed a temporal committee to draft the parliament’s bylaw because without this law the performance of the parliament would be inefficient, as actually happened. The formation of the second committee was in fact not included in the timetable, but discussion was opened to revise the articles of the constitution. Most sides, or rather all sides, think that the present situation of confusion, security disorder, and delay in government formation, is conducive to delay the formation of this government. Others believe that unless the security file is solved and tensions are removed, we should not get into disputes that might kindle a new strife. This is a political and not a constitutional view. The constitutional view is that we should form a standing committee for four months to revise the articles of the constitution and agree on disputes. I believe that when the confusion is over, especially since we are at the beginning of solving the security file and have given chance to all sides for the first time after the fall of the former regime and the beginning of occupation, there will be many points raised and they will not take us a long time to agree upon.