News Release

Iraqi Parliament Saying UN Renewal of Troop Mandate “Unconstitutional”

JAMES PAUL
Paul is executive director of Global Policy Forum, which monitors the United Nations. He said today: “UN authorization for the U.S.-led force in Iraq is set to expire. The U.S. government has drafted a renewal resolution to submit to the Security Council, and a vote could come up soon. But Iraq’s parliament has called for a timetable for withdrawal of these forces from the country. And it has denounced as unconstitutional any move by the Nouri al-Maliki cabinet to request a renewed mandate by the Council for the so-called Multi-National Force.”

Global Policy Forum has just made public on its website the letter from a majority of the Iraqi parliament that states it is “unconstitutional” for al-Maliki to “unilaterally” request a renewal of foreign troops in Iraq. Dated April 28, 2007, the letter was apparently handed over to the UN in Baghdad but never delivered to Security Council members. English translation of the letter is at available [PDF].

Paul also noted: “On May 27 the Iraqi parliament again took action on the MNF renewal issue. With a majority vote, it passed a binding law reaffirming the constitutional requirements in the case — the cabinet must submit any future MNF renewal request to parliament for approval by a two-thirds majority.” See the backgrounder “The Iraq Parliament and Security Council Renewal of the MNF Mandate.”
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RAED JARRAR
Currently in Washington, D.C., Jarrar is Iraq consultant for the American Friends Service Committee. He just wrote the piece “Parliament vs. Cabinet.” He said today: “Sunni, Shia, Kurdish, and secular separatists have been systematically bypassing the elected Iraqi parliament, which is controlled by a majority of Iraqi nationalists from all different religious/sectarian/ethnic backgrounds. This conflict over the UN mandate is an example of how the elected parliament is being bypassed by the Iraqi and U.S. executive branches.

“There is no constitutional ambiguity over who has the authority to ratify international treaties. The Constitution of Iraq stipulates in Article 58, Section 4 that the Council of Ministers [the cabinet] must gain the ratification of the Council of Representatives [the parliament] for ‘international treaties and agreements.’ A majority of members of parliament have gone on record, affirming that the renewal of the MNF mandate is a matter covered by this constitutional provision. And the parliament has also passed a binding law to this effect earlier this year.

“While the majority of Iraqis and Americans, and the majority of Iraqi MPs and U.S. Congress members, are searching for a way to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq, the Bush and Maliki administrations continue to ignore the demands of their people. Renewing the UN mandate during the next few weeks without going back to the Iraqi government will be another illegal step taken by both administrations to justify and prolong the U.S.-led occupation.”

Jarrar co-wrote “Iraqi Lawmakers Pass Resolution That May Force End to Occupation.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167.