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QUOTE: Iraq’s widely reviled parliament mired in turmoil

By AFP,  August 8, 2016

ASSOCIATED FRANCE PRESS: Zaid al-Ali, a constitutional expert and the author of “The Struggle For Iraq’s Future”, said the latest problems would not necessarily further reduce confidence in parliament, as it cannot get much lower. “Ordinary Iraqis already consider the institution to be a joke,” Ali said.  “Iraq’s parliament is and has been one of the most ineffective institutions in the Iraqi state since 2005,” said Ali. “That is very problematic because our constitution establishes Iraq as a parliamentary democracy, and places the Iraqi parliament at the centre of all state activities,” he said.

Lawmakers working for their own enrichment or for parties, sects or ethnicities instead of broader national goals are the cause of some of the problems in parliament, and of the widespread anger against it. There is also no official opposition, and all major parties have ministers in the cabinet — a situation that emphasises consensus and gives all sides a voice, but also makes it extremely difficult to pass and implement controversial measures. “On vital issues like security, the parliament has been incapable of passing virtually any legislation,” Ali said, and “major reform is impossible in Iraq, because the parliament is an incompetent institution”.

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