Abdulaziz Aliwe Al-Isawi – Researcher
In September 2021, the Bayan Centre for Studies and Planning published a paper entitled “Disabled constitutional entitlements: The Federation Council, the Vice-President and the provincial councils “have talked about important constitutional entitlements frozen: the Federation Council, the Vice-President and the provincial councils in an attempt to find reasons for disrupting important constitutional paragraphs that have paved the way for the functioning of three hinges that are manifestations of democracy in any State, The first is the Council of the Federation, which represents the absent half of the legislative branch, as well as the Vice-President of the Republic, whose existence is mandated by the Constitution as part of the executive branch, as well as the provincial councils that came in which are enshrined in the Constitution as a manifestation of decentralization in democratic Iraq.
The problems presented in the paper were not absent from the new Government formed in October 2022, two of which were included in its functions by preparing the ground for the holding of elections to provincial councils and by working on the legislation of the Council of the Federation Act, in addition to what is being deliberated on whether there is a desire to return to the post of Vice-President or Vice-Presidents at the current session.
I: The Constitution’s three benefits
The Iraqi Constitution established the Council of the Federation through the explicit provision of article 48 that “the federal legislative authority shall consist of the Council of Representatives and the Council of the Federation”, which clearly indicates that the legislative authority is bilateral on the basis that there must be two chambers, namely: the legislative power cannot be abbreviated by the House of Representatives alone.
Article 65 of the Constitution further elaborates on the nature, membership and composition of the Federation Council, providing for “ the establishment of a Legislative Council to be called the Council of the Federation, comprising representatives of the irregular provinces and governorates of a territory, which shall regulate its composition, the conditions of membership and its competence, and all relevant legislation enacted by a two-thirds majority of the members of the House of Representatives “
With the importance of this article, because it provided the foundations by which it is possible to understand the mechanisms of proceeding towards the formation of the Federation Council, but at the same time it put a significant obstacle to its formation when it made the existence of the Federation Council subject to the approval of two-thirds of the members of the House of Representatives, that is: the Federation Council became subordinate to the House of Representatives, and not parallel to it as stated in Article (48), which indicated the existence of two chambers representing the legislative authority without preferring one over the other.
Article (69: II) of the Constitution also requires the presence of one or more vice-presidents of the Republic, provided that this is regulated by law, which means that the president of the Republic must have at least one deputy who performs specific tasks, and assumes other powers in the absence of the president.
What confirms that there must be a vice-president in the Constitution is what is stated in Article (75: second) that the vice-president of the Republic replaces the president in his absence, and then in Article (75: third), which states “the vice-president of the Republic replaces the president of the Republic when his post is vacant for any reason”.
With regard to the provincial councils, the first article of the Constitution stated that Iraq is a federal state, and therefore no federal state can leave the decentralized system of government, whether it is political or administrative decentralization, as decentralization is a tool for moving from a centralized to a decentralized pattern that relies on the distribution of powers and competencies, and giving each party (i.e., the capital, states, provinces, or governorates) what it deserves from them, hence federal states began to abandon the idea of Indivisible sovereignty unity, and the trend towards providing services to the population far from the center by forming local councils elected.
Article (122) indicated that there must be governorate councils organized by law, which was later regulated by the law of irregular governorates in the region No. 21 of 2008.the said article also granted the governorates wide administrative and financial powers; to enable them to manage their affairs in accordance with the principle of administrative decentralization. the governor chosen by the elected provincial council is the chief executive officer in the province, and implements the powers vested in him by his provincial council.