Tuesday, January 08, 2013

State of Law starts another physical fight in Parliament

If Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law were in a kindergarten class, the teacher would be repeatedly instructing them to, "Use your words."  And to no avail.  State of Law has yet again started another physical fight in the Parliament.  All Iraq News notes that State of Law physically fought with members of Moqtada al-Sadr's bloc.  Alsumaria explains Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi had to call a one hour break -- apparently to give State of Law a time-out.  Kitabat identifies State of Law's Ali Alfalh ("former Ba'athist") as the one leading the altercation.

If State of Law doesn't want to be blamed for the fighting the answer is easy: Stop hitting people.  In addition, stop lying.  All Iraq News reports that Nouri's advisor Amer Khuzaie took to the TV to proclaim that Nouri has responded to the protesters "legitimate" demands.  They note there were no specifics given.   Alsumaria notes that Iraqiya MP Hamid al-Mutlaq states that Nouri needs to grasp how serious these demonstrations are and that any attempt to suppress them would be devastating and cause a rift between the government on one side and the citizens on the other.    He also objected to the use of the military to suppress the demonstrations and noted that these had been peaceful demonstrations.

Yesterday at the Mosul protests, the Iraqi military showed up and attacked the protesters.  Kitabat notes that they fired guns and used batons injuring at least four and they review the demands of the protesters which include that those arrested who work for Minister of Finance Rafie al-Issawi be transferred to the Anbar Province's court system (Baghdad is seen as a kangaroo court controlled by Nouri), that Article IV be suspended (and with it the Justice and Accountability Commission), the release of detainees, holding security personnel accountable for rape and negligence of prisoners and detainees, stop the executions, pass an amnesty law, checks and balances on all the government institutions and the military, withdraw the Iraqi army from cities and end the operations in the governorates (reference to Tigris Operation Command which Nouri sent into the disputed areas), ensure that the judicial bodies are neutral from political interference, ban sectarianism from phrases and logos of the state institutions, and end the random night raids, speed up the professionalization of the Federal Supreme Court so that the judges do not belong to a political party or bloc.

Kitatbat reports that in Anbar Province, the people are providing food and medical services to the protesters on a daily basis in a show of solidarity with those who have blocked the international highway that links Baghdad to Jordan and Syria.  There is a food pavilion (photo with the article) that prepares food daily -- bread, rice, meat and soup -- and a tent has been set up with doctors, nurses and pharmacists.  The tribal leaders see it as "an honor" and "a duty" to feed the protesters who have been protesting night and day.

All Iraq News notes that 50 MPs have signed on to question Nouri before Parliament.  There are a number of things he could be questioned on.  For example, October 9th, Nouri was strutting across the world stage as he inked a $4.2 billion weapons deal with Russia. In the time since, the deal has fallen apart amidst accusations of corruption with Nouri's former spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh having left his position and the country and stating that he is innocent but that there are attempts to blame him for the corruption.  Nouri's son is also whispered to have benefited from an allegedly crooked deal.   Last week, the Iraq Times noted it was Nouri who finger-pointed at Ali al-Dabbagh and that Iraqiya was stating he was attempting to obscure details and that the names of all involved needed to be made public.  Dar Addustour reports that the Parliamentary committees investigating the deal (there are several including defense, integrity and security) have found that there were two prices.  There was the negotiated price that the first delegation arrived at with the Russian government and then there was a different price when the second delegation negotiated.  The difference between the two?  Over 50%.  The price agreed to in the first round somehow more than doubled.  Mohammad Sabah (Al Mada) speaks with an unnamed member of the Integrity Committee who states the Committee will release their final report today.

Along with the reports that all three Committees are supposed to release and the move to question Nouri before Parliament, there was talk in the last days of a no-confidence vote in Nouri. 
When there's talk of a possible no-confidence vote on Nouri, what does State of Law do?  That's right they start saying they'll launch a no-confidence vote on Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi.  Dar Addustour reports the latest whispered threats of that and they note that Thursday is supposed to see another vote on the proposed Amnesty Law.  Who always kills that?  State of Law.  And the outlet notes they're already saying that they will refuse to vote on the bill Thursday.

In today's reported violence, All Iraq News notes a Mosul bombing hs claimed the life of 1 person.  Alsumaria notes the corpse of 1 soldier was discovered in Kirkuk.

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