Monday, January 31, 2011

The power-grab

AFP reports that Nouri al-Maliki defended his power-grab yesterday insisting that his appeal to the Supreme Court to have the central bank, the electoral commission, the human rights commmission and the anti-corruption body placed under his control was forthe good of Iraq. AFP notes:

Several of the agencies affected have themselves criticised the supreme court ruling, saying it harmed their non-partisan reputation, while opponents of the decision have called it a move by Maliki to consolidate power.
Maliki, who formed his cabinet last December after political bickering that left Iraq without a government for more than nine months, also said there was still was no agreement on the four key defence, intelligence, security and interior ministry portfolios, which remain vacant.

Fadi al-Issa (Zawya) reports Nouri was not the only one addressing his power-grab yesterday:

The adviser of the Iraqi Central BankIraqi Central Bank (ICB) warned on Sunday of the repercussions of the Federal Court's recent ruling that links the bank directly to the council of ministers in exposing Iraqi funds to risks.
Muzher Mohammed Saleh told AKnews today that the international financial environment is risky and instead of referring the Central Bank to a judicial power, there is need to make diversity in the management of foreign financial reserves in the countries to escape any legal proceedings affecting the debt of the Iraqi government that are protected under resolution 1483 of the international security council.

Alsumaria TV adds, "Iraq’s Parliament is due to host on Tuesday heads of the independent commissions to discuss the ruling of placing certain institutions under ministerial control. The Parliament is expected to receive head of the Integrity Commission Rahim Al Ukaili, the High Electoral Commission Chairman Faraj Al Haidair and Central Bank Chief Sanan Al Shabibi, a source from the Parliament speaking on condition of anonymity told Alsumaria News."

In news of violence, Saad Abdul-Kadir (AP) reports four Baghdad bombings have left seven people wounded and that 1 employee of the Ministry of Electricity was shot dead. Reuters reports eight were wounded including police Brig Gen Adday Mahmoud and they note 1 security contractor was shot dead in Baghdad yesterday and a Baghdad sticky bombing yesterday injured a cleric.

On this week's Law and Disorder Radio (airs this morning on WBAI at 9:00 am EST and around the country throughout the week), Michael S. Smith, Heidi Boghosian and Michael Ratner speak with Flint Taylor about torture in Chicago prisons, Bill Goodman about Haiti and Sarah Hogarth and James Cockcroft about Honduras.

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