It is self-evident that the democratic political system is formed by institutions on which the powers of the State are distributed through its political system, in such a way as to ensure that the concept of the State as an institution with a monopoly on legitimate coercion within its geographical framework, is realized by coercion because the State commits citizens to do certain things and prevents them from doing certain things, but these obligations and prohibitions – in general terms – are legitimate; Because they stem from the engagement of citizens of this State and their consent to the granting of these powers, the preservation of people’s lives and the preservation of society, which threaten it internally and externally.
The sharing of powers involved in democratic systems is based on the division on which democracy has settled after many experiences and historical phases that have been rife with wars and problems. Until we have reached the present division of three powers that are committed to each other, and to the people that emerged through their electoral will, the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary.
In parliamentary systems such as the Iraqi regime, where the greatest winner or his coalition forms the Government and is accountable to the Parliament, which the people have elected as an intermediary between them and the Government within the political system. This responsibility implies that the public policies of the Government are subject to the opinion of the Parliament, whether in terms of the way they spend public resources, the way the political system is managed, the building of external relations, and other duties performed by the government and in conjunction with the functioning of the judiciary as a responsible institution of government, as a foundation responsible for rendering legal judgment and resolving conflict between members of society and its institutions. We eventually reach an integral relationship between the institutions of the political system, which guarantee the protection and viability of the State.
Given the above; It is assumed that political action, the way in which the State is run, and the functioning of the political system are carried out by the three institutions mentioned above, and those who work there, and the decision is made through debates among its members, but this hypothesis does not seem accurate when applied to the Iraqi political system. This paper assumes that the decision-making center or centers of the Iraqi State are located outside the official institutions, which direct the State’s decision-making institutions in one direction and not another for public policies in Iraq, in such a way that the political system, with its modern electoral democracy mechanism, is subject to a traditional division of political forces, the forces carrying the State project in Iraq, which means that the form of the institutions and the nature of the election results do not necessarily mean the finer expression of how the State is administered, because the institutions are subject to pre-existing/institutional agreements, to traditional power requirements, and not to the formal regulatory legal structure.
First: Institutions and leaders
As previously mentioned, Iraq follows the parliamentary system in forming a government. At the beginning of each electoral cycle, a crisis arises in assigning the Prime Minister and the formation of his government. A long debate erupts over the definition of the biggest winner among the blocs, who has the right to form a government. This, in turn, is subject to the political consensus that was sometimes imposed due to the severity of the dispute, bringing in a prime minister who did not run in the elections at all, as happened in the assignment of Adel Abdul-Mahdi, and then Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.
It does not seem that the matter will be different with the fifth parliamentary session in Iraq, as the High Electoral Commission announced on October 11th the preliminary results of the elections, which resulted in the rise of some blocs and the decline of others, and in general: no one can form a government alone, as the number of parliament seats is distributed according to Preliminary results according to the following division:
- Sadrist Movement 73 seats
- Progress Party (Takadum) 38 seats
- State of Law Coalition 37 seats
- Kurdistan Democratic Party 32 seats
- independent candidates 20 seats
- Patriotic Union of Kurdistan 17 seats
- Fatah Alliance 14 seats
- Ishraqet Kanon 6 seats
- Emtidad Movement 9 seats
- Ryan Chaldean 5 seats
- State Forces Alliance 4 seats
- Hoquq Movement 1 seat
- Eqtadar Watan 1 seat
Regardless of the objections that are still raised to the results, and the failure to announce the final results of the elections provided that the rebuttals are settled. This paper argues on another issue related to the effectiveness of the legislative authority in front of the state administration system and government bureaucracy, and its subjection to political influence outside official institutions more than its compliance with the legislative or executive process.
As is known, the electoral system in Iraq has been subject to the requirements of ethnic divisions since 2005, and these divisions according to Iraqi ethnicities mean in one way or another that there are traditional leaders whose existence preceded the establishment of the political system after 2003; Which gives it the ability to create public opinions and direct it in a specific way, whether by voting for certain lists during the elections, or after when parliamentary blocs are formed within Parliament, in a way that makes the decision-making of the representative, and the executive government, then subject to the decision of the leader, whether he is present in Parliament, or outside it.
During the third and fourth parliamentary sessions, an undeclared political custom emerged, which requires that the political leader not run in the elections, and leads a certain list, controlling its voting behavior, to the extent that he attends the negotiations to form the government without his elected representatives; This has consolidated and expanded the phenomenon of the controlling leader across the parliamentary blocs, without necessarily being a deputy or holding an executive position.
For example, during the fourth election cycle (2018-2021), the leaders of the Saairun bloc, Wisdom Movement, State of Law, Al-Sadiqoun Bloc, Ataa Movement, the Kurdistan Alliance with its main parties, and other blocs, these blocs leaders were not members of Parliament and did not run for elections at all. But the political decision and the direction of voting behavior within the Council of Representatives or the Council of Ministers for representatives of political blocs were made outside the Council of Representatives by political consensus, through political leaders outside Parliament, and heads of blocs who lead the voting process on laws and public policies, The well-known consensus and sharing in the structure of the Iraqi political system after 2003.
This customary practice in the Iraqi political system made the political decision to be made and agreed upon between the large blocs – already involved in a consensual government – outside parliament, making voting on important laws more procedural than practical, and the most dangerous and important laws – especially those that stipulated The constitution is still being enacted – it is still trapped in the political disagreement between the large blocs, such as the Federation Council Law, the Oil and Gas Law, and others.
Second: The crisis of power and its monopoly
Official institutions are hardly able to prove their uniqueness by the rhythm of legitimate coercion, which we referred to in the introduction, and the fact is that this weakness descends to lower levels in the structure of the Iraqi state, for example, the competent government agencies cannot remove the abuses on public property, except in some cases. Areas that do not have enough strength to clash with the official agencies.
In addition, the official security services suffer from control and control problems, and the military/security effort is dispersed on multiple fronts and is subject to administrative levels that often contradict – the former Minister of Interior, Muhammad Al-Ghabban, complained that the limits of his powers did not exceed the limits of the ministry, the powers that were granted To the commanders of the operations at the minister’s expense – in addition to its fear of a clash with the other armed forces in Iraq.
This means that the legislative institutions, and the executive body that emerges from them, led by the Prime Minister, cannot impose their decisions by the power of the state, with the power of the military state, which is supposed to monopolize – once again – legitimate coercion.
Third: Bureaucracy and political decision… Costly mistakes.
Official institutions in Iraq suffer from a complex bureaucracy, many of which are based on legislative slack, which led the World Bank to classify the effectiveness of Iraqi laws by as low as 20% and to recommend the deletion of nearly 80% of Iraqi laws through the legislative guillotine program, which has been suspended since In 2008, to abbreviate more than 37,000 laws, court orders, and decisions of the dissolved Revolutionary Command Council.
The real problem is that these laws and orders conflict with each other, and are subject to a large number of explanatory notes, and the discretionary power of the head of the executive institution, even to the smallest employee concerned in the institution, which led to the formation of a complex functional body, whose members know the legal problem, and the contradiction of legislation, in light of the lack of The experience of ministers and general managers appointed through the quota system, so that permanent employees control the conduct of government operations, and what is related to public policies, according to their mood, in light of the rising levels of corruption in the Iraqi administrative system – military and civil – in a way that impedes the implementation of even good policies that may emerge as laws from the legislative authority, and the executive authority is entrusted with its implementation.
The political forces turned to this problem and benefited greatly from it. In the end, what started as a mistake – the accumulation of laws and the slackness of legislation – turned into a complex gateway to control the political system and direct its general executive policies according to the moods of the employees and their connections.
Instead of the conclusion
In view of what we mentioned previously, how can we benefit from the rise of a large number of independents to the parliament? Is it possible for their presence to be effective and influential and capable of making public policies that change the deteriorating course of the Iraqi state?
In fact, the achievement of such a goal is dependent on several conditions, we can mention two important conditions, including:
- The large blocs must agree and reach a conviction that continuing to run the political system according to the method that has been agreed upon since 2003 is no longer valid, and leads actively to the collapse of the entire state and that the biggest loser from its collapse will be the large blocs and their leaders, with the loss of the state that they carried its project, and control its political structure. These forces must contract to reform the political system with its three powers, in a way that tends towards institutionalization and effectiveness in work.
- The treatment of legislative slack must be at the forefront of the projects that Parliament is working on, in cooperation with the judicial and executive authorities. The effectiveness and clarity of laws will enable the judiciary to resolve the issues brought to it effectively and quickly, and will enable the government to work within a clear and effective system of laws, is not subject to multiple interpretations, nor to the mood of the employees, in a way that restores the state’s ability to perform its first duty: national security in its comprehensive sense, and makes it a positive presence in the lives of citizens, so that they become positively effective elements in the continuity and sustainability of the political system through consent in its form, in a manner that guarantees the peaceful transition process of power through elections.