MIDDLE EAST

Not being convinced means voting no confidence for the electoral commission

The secret voting might have blemished the credibility of Iraq’s High Electoral Commission during the parliamentary meeting that was held several days ago. The council decided that it was not convinced by the Commission’s answers to the questions raised by MP Magda Tamimi during the questioning that had previously taken place.

Mrs Tamimi’s evidence that is based on documents and information regarding slackness, violations and abuses within the work of the commission, would have been sufficient, under other circumstances, to make at least 99 percent of the council members vote that they are not convinced. However, political interests have their own rule. According to information retrieved from a number of MPs, it was clear that weighing blocs in the parliament and the commission, especially the Rule of Law coalition and the Kurdistan Democratic Party, did not want to vote against the commission because they were concerned about the withdrawal of confidence.

The result of the vote was at the lowest level because public opinion in Iraq was not in favor of the commission. This has been widely expressed over recent years on the media, social networking websites and during the 21-month-long popular movement, which has made the restructuring of the Commission, safeguarding its alleged transparency and amending the electoral law among the priorities of its demands. This desire is in fact due to the very poor performance of the parliament regarding the implementation of the legislative and supervisory tasks entrusted to it. This poor performance is the result of the tyranny of a number of incompetent and biased members. This is largely due to the fact that the electoral commission was not independent, which allowed violations and abuses revealed by the documents and facts presented by MP Tamimi to the parliament.

If we were in a democratic country, we would have heard that the council of the commission had submitted its resignation after discovering that it did not have the confidence of parliament, the representative of the people, but we are not in a democratic country, this is why things do not go the way they should

Adnan Hussein

A motion of no-confidence, even if it received 99 percent of the vote, will not necessarily result in losing the confidence granted to the commission because the law stipulates at least 50 deputies should submit a motion of no confidence. Even if this happens, the vote to accept the suggestion is not guaranteed due to the movement of the political interests and deals that is hard to predict.

If we were in a democratic country, we would have heard that the council of the commission had submitted its resignation after discovering that it did not have the confidence of parliament, the representative of the people, but we are not in a democratic country, this is why things do not go the way they should.

Anyway, the influential political class should not act as it did before. A motion of no confidence in the answers of the commission is essentially a vote of no confidence in the commission. Reconsidering the status of the commission and electoral law is not only in the interest of the nation and the people. The political class should radically reconsider it as it cannot work forever against the people’s desire.

This article is also available in Arabic.

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Adnan Hussein is the executive editor-in-chief of Al-Mada newspaper and head of the National Union of Iraqi journalists. Previously, he has held the position of Managing Editor in Asharq al-Awsat newspaper. He tweets under the handle @adnanhussein

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Last Update: Saturday, 29 April 2017 KSA 15:34 - GMT 12:34
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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