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WikiLeaks: 2006-06-19: 06BAGHDAD2081: Parliament Begins Committee Allocation Process; Deputy Speaker says Constitution Review to Begin in September

by WikiLeaks. 06BAGHDAD2081: June 19, 2006.

Posted: Thursday, October 04, 2012 at 04:46 PM UT


Viewing cable 06BAGHDAD2081, PARLIAMENT BEGINS COMMITTEE ALLOCATION PROCESS;

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06BAGHDAD2081 2006-06-19 14:51 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXRO3524
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #2081/01 1701451
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 191451Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5159
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHEHWSR/WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM WASHINGTON DC//NSC
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002081 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/18/2016 
TAGS: PGOV KDEM IZ
SUBJECT: PARLIAMENT BEGINS COMMITTEE ALLOCATION PROCESS; 
DEPUTY SPEAKER SAYS CONSTITUTION REVIEW TO BEGIN IN 
SEPTEMBER 
 
Classified By: Political Counselor Margaret M. 
Scobey for Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
 
1. (C) Summary.  Deputy Speaker of the Council of 
Representatives (CoR) Khalid al-Attiyah told Embassy 
Legal Adviser June 18 that committee formation should 
be completed within a week.  The CoR session broke 
early in the afternoon so that the CoR leadership and 
political bloc leaders could meet to discuss 
committee formation mechanisms, particularly the 
allocation of committee chairs.  The CoR also 
authorized the bylaws committee to produce a draft law 
on replacing members who have left to become 
ministers.  Attiyah said he did not think the 
constitutional review committee would be formed and 
begin its work until the beginning of September.  End 
Summary 
 
-------------------------- 
Committee Formation Update 
-------------------------- 
 
2. (C) In a June 18 introductory meeting with Embassy 
Legal Adviser, Deputy Speaker of the Council of 
Representatives (CoR) Khalid al-Attiyah speculated 
that committee formation would be completed within a 
week.  During the June 18 session, Attiyah urged the 
political blocs to identify the committees they wanted 
to chair and the CoR members they wanted to assign to 
specific committees (as well as deputy chairs). The 
CoR voted to authorize the Presidency Commission 
(Speaker and two Deputies) to meet with the CoR 
political bloc leaders to discuss the framework for 
committee formation after the end of the session. 
 
3. (C) Separately, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) 
member and CoR Kurdish bloc leader Fuad Ma'sum told 
PolOff that he was expecting a stiff fight on 
assigning CoR committee chairs.  The working theory 
for dividing the committee chairmanships, according to 
Ma'sum, is to allocate one committee for every 11 
seats won by a bloc.  For example, the Kurds with 
their 53 seats in the CoR would be given 5 committees. 
The remaining breakdown would then be: 12 committees 
for the Shia Coalition; 5 for Tawafuq; 1 for Hewar; 
and one for Iraqiyya.  NOTE: Other contacts in the CoR 
(see para 4) have told us there is an amendment to 
this arrangement pending whereby one committee would be 
taken from each of the three main parties - Kurds, 
Shia Coalition, and Tawafuq - to give to minority 
parties such as the Chaldo-Assyrian Christians.  END 
NOTE 
 
4. (C) Ma'sum immediately ruled out maintaining the 
Kurdish leadership of the Legal Committee (Kurdish 
member Muhsin Sa'adoun had headed this committee as a 
Transitional National Assembly (TNA) member). 
Sa'adoun and UIC member Iman Khaleel al-Assadi both 
told PolOff separately that UIC member Humam al- 
Hammudi would likely be the next chairman of the legal 
committee.  Ma'sum acknowledged that the Kurds were 
hoping to get the Security Committee, since they did 
not get any of the security portfolios in the cabinet. 
However, neither the Shia nor the Sunni Arabs would 
relinquish control over that committee.  Instead, the 
Kurds were considering requesting the 
Refugees/Internally Displaced Persons and 
Health/Environment Committees.  (NOTE: IDPs have become a 
Kurdish 
Alliance concern because of the ongoing issue with the 
Faily Kurds, the Shia subsect of Kurds.  Many Faily 
Kurds currently live outside of Iraq and wish to 
return, but they are unable to get Iraqi documentation 
to return.  The Kurdish Alliance is hoping to secure 
Faily Kurd support, not only in Baghdad but in border 
areas like Diyala.  The Faily Kurds have historically 
supported the Shia Coalition in national elections. 
END NOTE) 
 
5. (C) SCIRI CoR member Ijra Faisal Oda told PolOff 
June 18 that committee allocation should consider that 
more than one minority is represented by the CoR.  Oda 
rejected the initial allocation (Shia Coalition 12, 
Kurdish Alliance 5, Tawafuq 5, Iraqiyya 2, minorities 
1), telling PolOff that she recommended to Shia 
Coalition negotiators that 4 additional committees be 
allocated to minorities by subtracting one each from 
the four major political blocs. 
 
BAGHDAD 00002081  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
6. (C) Both Chaldo-Assyrian Christian Yonadam Kanna 
and independent Sunni CoR member Mithal al-Alusi 
confirmed to PolOff that all CoR minorities are 
included in the committee allocation negotiations. 
While Kanna was pessimistic about minority prospects 
in these negotiations, al-Alusi asserted that this is 
the best opportunity to push for minority-chaired 
committees.  He predicted minority party members will 
receive  four committee chairs. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
Constitutional Review Committee Likely to Be Delayed 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
7. (C) Attiyah told the Legal Adviser that he did not 
think the constitutional review committee would begin 
its work until the beginning of September.  He cited 
both the desire of political party leaders to delay 
the review until after government formation and the 
upcoming CoR break as reasons for its later start. 
(NOTE:  Article 142 of the constitution requires 
formation of the committee "at the beginning" of the 
work of the CoR.  Given the CoR's slow organizational 
process, a September formation date is arguably 
consistent with this requirement.  END NOTE.)  He 
agreed that TNA Constitutional Committee Chair and 
SCIRI member Humam Hammudi would be a candidate to 
chair the review committee.  He stated that no 
decisions had been made on the organization of the 
committee, though he expected it would have 
approximately 25 members. 
 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
Bylaws Committee Charged to Produce Draft Law on 
Replacing Members 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
8. Attiyah said the CoR would discuss a new law on 
replacing CoR members (who have left to become 
ministers, PM, or to join the Presidency Council).  He 
added that the IECI had told the CoR leadership that 
the CoR had authority to decide how the members should 
be replaced as long as the replacement members were 
candidates in the December election.  (NOTE: Post had 
understood that the current electoral law would 
be applied, which requires the next available 
candidate on the applicable governorate list to 
replace a departing member (Article 14(1) END NOTE.) 
He said there are two main schools of thought: (a) to 
retain the current requirement that departing members 
be replaced by the next available member from the same 
governorate list, regardless of party affiliation and (b) 
revise the law to allow departing members to be 
replaced by someone from the same party from the 
applicable governorate list.  The CoR voted to 
authorize the bylaws committee to produce draft 
legislation on replacing CoR members.  Muhsin Sa'adoun 
provided PolFSN with a copy of a draft law that would 
be discussed by the bylaws committee; it utilizes the 
latter school of thought. 
 
------------------- 
Pending Legislation 
------------------- 
 
9. (C) Attiyah added that some laws had already been 
sent to the CoR for its consideration, including a 
financial management law and a new Independent 
Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI) law.  He cited as 
a priority the need for a new foreign investment law. 
SPECKHARD

 



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