Commentary: Amendments to Iraqi Constitution; what will be achieved?
With the continuation of protests in Iraq, the issue of constitutional reform has emerged as one of the ways to meet the demands of the protesters and reduce Iraq's problems.
Iran Press/ Middle East: One of the most important demands of Iraqi protesters is the government's serious fight against the widespread corruption in the country. Iraqi officials and figures as well as analysts in the country believe that the main cause of widespread corruption in Iraq is the existence of a sharing system and a sectarian view of power.
Iraqi President Barham Salih announced the start of the constitutional reform process last week. Parliament Speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi also announced reforms to the constitution and the passage of sectarianism in power. Hadi al-Ameri, head of the Fath coalition, made his view more explicitly that the parliamentary system in Iraq had failed and the country should move towards a presidential system.
Although the widespread corruption in Iraq cannot be attributed solely to the parliamentary system, the prime minister is not necessarily the winner of the election in a particular Iraqi parliamentary system, and the cabinet is formed to satisfy groups based on quotas. Therefore, the prime minister is somehow dependent on the political currents and should be accountable to the groups rather than to the people. At the same time, some political movements are in the cabinet and the ranks of the protesters as well, pursuing the removal of the Iraqi prime minister.
Creating a presidential system in which the president is directly elected by the people means that the president is elected without the political bargaining power of the groups and is directly accountable to the people. However, changing the system from a parliamentary to a presidential one will be productive if it does not fall into the power-sharing and sectarianism of the cabinet, which is not easy to achieve given the demographic structure of Iraq.
Therefore, Mahmoud Mohammed, a spokesman for the Kurdistan Democratic Party, said in response to proposals to change the political system from a parliament to a presidential that there is no flaw in the constitutional but in a way of interpreting and interacting with it. He noted that the interests of the people of Kurdistan must be addressed if the constitution is amended
Fighting corruption and leaving behind the power-sharing system will be possible and productive when nation-building in Iraq revolves around the Iraqi national identity and the political currents of the country accept the concept of majority government; a theme former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has long before raised it many times.
Another point is that the fight against corruption will not be achieved simply by changing the type of system from parliamentary to presidential and it could result in minimal success. The fight against corruption most of all requires an independent and efficient judiciary. The independent judiciary can take a serious measure against corruption and people who use power for personal gain, far from being sectarian. Accordingly, the establishment of an independent judiciary in recent days has been one of the pillars of reform in the Iraqi constitution. 207/219