At the outset of Iraq’s elections, Nuri al-Maliki, the Prime Minister of Iraq, took a new step towards autocracy and dictatorship and in his weekly address audaciously said: “The parliament’s life has come to an end or its leadership has declared its termination.” This is the very parliament that Maliki got his mandate from.
In his speech, he took a step further and said: “Yesterday, at the cabinet, we decided by a majority, to carry this budget and spend it whether it is ratified by the parliament or not.”
He explicitly stated that the parliament must not refuse his demands and clearly said that when the government sends a new law to the parliament “the law gets changed and other things are added to it that move it away from its original goal and it goes the other way, which imposes a hefty cost on the government.” Like all dictators, he considers himself as the criterion for law, and considers opposing him as violating the law. He said the parliament “by a collection of violations of laws… loses its special legislative and legal character…”
Maliki—who has already brought the Judiciary under his control with the support of the Iranian regime said: “Today, we have complained to the federal court against parliament’s ways and actions.” Maliki, who is certain about the outcome of his surrogate court said: “We hope that members of parliament will courageously act vis-à-vis the court’s ruling.”
Maliki’s statements are nothing but a coup against the parliament and a deathblow to the country’s political process, and prove a reality that we have repeatedly stated: Iraq’s main problem is Maliki himself and his monopoly of power and despotism. By trampling upon all democratic rules and eliminating his opponents one after another, he has dragged the political process into destruction, started a sectarian war and suppressed the Shiites ruthlessly. There seems to be no formal judicial process for many captured prisoners that are being herded to the gallows.
I organised a major conference in the European Parliament last month on human rights in Iraq involving some of the most prominent political and religious leaders. Then on 27 February we adopted a strong resolution in the parliament on Iraq which clearly stated that “Nuri al-Maliki has not addressed the concerns of the Sunni minority;….the demolition of the
year-long Sunni protest camp in Ramadi by the government on 30 December 2013 precipitated the violent confrontation in Anbar province,…..” and Parliament ” Is deeply concerned about the high rate of executions in Iraq; calls on the Iraqi authorities to introduce a moratorium on the implementation of all death sentences; believes that a reform of the justice system is of primary importance in order to re-establish a sense of security among the citizens of Iraq”.
Since Maliki—with the Iranian regime’s guidance and support and through dictatorship and violence—has brought Iraq to the brink of civil war, we call on the United Nations, the U.S. government, and the European Union to take immediate action in this regard and emphasize the following:
First: All military assistance to Maliki and his government must be stopped. These weapons are only used for killing the Iraqi people and advancing the Iranian regime’s power in the region, and for further spreading the sectarian war in the entire Middle East.
Second: The economic assistance to Iraq by the U.S. and the EU is, on one hand, disappeared into Maliki government’s corruption quagmire, and, on the other hand, used for the suppression and killing of the Iraqi people; this assistance must be reduced through a specific timetable, or completely halted.
Third: An election which is held by Maliki’s government will never be a free and fair election, especially since the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defense, and Ministry of Security, as well as all other security agencies are under control of Maliki himself and he would use them to advance his personal agenda. A fair election is only possible by a provisional administrative government under the auspices of the United Nations.
6 March 2014
Struan Stevenson MEP
President, European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq