Shar­ing the Iraqi gov­ern­ment and self rule

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Saadula Aqrawi

In Iraq a fed­eral gov­ern­ment and re­gional gov­ern­ment form shared rule and self-rule. The new gov­ern­ment will have to come to terms with its armed forces and the use of mili­tias. In Iraq, each ma­jor eth­nic group has es­tab­lished its mili­tias. The mili­tias are used to pro­tect their re­gions.

The Kur­dis­tan Re­gion will be like some states that prac­tice a form of democ­racy that does not fit into ei­ther the pres­i­den­tial or par­lia­men­tary pro­to­type but con­tains el­e­ments of both. In any coun­try, the armed forces are de­signed to pro­tect the coun­try from ex­ter­nal and in­ter­nal threats and are made up of all eth­nic groups. The Iraqi units are com­posed of a majority or en­tirely of one sec­tor group in their ranks. The mili­tia’s al­liance is first to their eth­nic group and re­gion. Some po­lit­i­cal sys­tems are called mixed sys­tems. In some semi pres­i­den­tial democ­ra­cies, the pres­i­dent is elected ac­cord­ing to rules of di­rect democ­racy. In this sys­tem, the ex­ec­u­tive ex­er­cises a broad range of pow­ers just as in the par­lia­men­tary sys­tem.

In Iraq many army units take their or­ders from the po­lit­i­cal par­ties. The role and the use of th­ese forces will have to be clar­i­fied in or­der for a fed­eral Iraq to suc­ceed. En­sur­ing a suc­cess­ful fed­er­al­ism to a coun­try lack­ing in a demo­cratic tra­di­tion, with strong eth­nic and re­li­gious di­vi­sions, is an enor­mous chal­lenge. The demo­cratic form of gov­ern­ment is an in­sti­tu­tional con­fig­u­ra­tion that al­lows for popular par­tic­i­pa­tion through the elec­toral process. The demo­cratic ideal is based on two prin­ci­ples: po­lit­i­cal par­tic­i­pa­tion and po­lit­i­cal con­tes­ta­tion.

In Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, the pres­i­dent is be­ing quite pow­er­ful, and he can­not be re­moved from of­fice by the leg­is­la­ture. The mixed regimes com­bine char­ac­ter­is­tics of both of the ma­jor sys­tems pres­i­den­tial and par­lia­men­tary. It ul­ti­mately will rely on the peo­ple of Iraq to make it work. The Iraqi fed­er­a­tion must be vol­un­tary and not im­posed by the U.S. or any other out­side power. A fed­eral Iraq must be demo­cratic. There are nu­mer­ous other ex­am­ples of mixed regimes where peo­ple have at­tempted to take the best at­tributes of each sys­tem and com­bine th­ese at­tributes into one form of gov­ern­ment. Con­struc­tive re­la­tions based on mu­tual trust and recog­ni­tion must be built among all eth­nic groups. The Kur­dish lead­ers have been ac­tive in this process, ad­vo­cat­ing their own in­ter­ests while build­ing open and fair Iraqi in­sti­tu­tions. The demo­cratic sys­tems in Kur­dis­tan Re­gion must pro­vide the most checks on the au­thor­ity of gov­ern­ment while pro­vid­ing the most pro­tec­tion of the civil rights and lib­er­ties of in­di­vid­u­als. In the Mid­dle East coun­tries, there is no per­fect democ­racy. If unit­ing Iraq fails, then the U.S. must plan for the strong pos­si­bil­ity of the Kurds declar­ing in­de­pen­dence. The U.S. can­not deny that a Kur­dish pur­suit of in­de­pen­dence is im­prob­a­ble. His­tory has shown that states have been bro­ken up into new states such as the for­mer Soviet Union. All democ­ra­cies have their strong and weak points. What is im­por­tant is that there is com­ple­men­tary be­tween demo­cratic struc­tures and the char­ac­ter­is­tics, needs, and pri­or­i­ties of the state in which democ­racy op­er­ates. When such com­ple­men­tary does not ex­ist, the demo­cratic prin­ci­ples of tol­er­ance and ne­go­ti­a­tion al­low for the pos­si­bil­ity of re­forms.

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