Agreement by political blocs to form new Iraqi government

On Sunday 7th September 2014 an agreement was made between the major political blocs in Iraq that led to the formation of the new Iraqi government. The official document is published by the Cabinet Office in Baghdad, which includes deadlines for key issues to be resolved/implemented. On the 8th of September the PM designate Haider al-Abadi presented his government’s program to the Council of Representatives for approval, which received the vote of confidence along with the ministerial candidates. The preamble to the program is here, the ‘strategic priorities’ for the ministries here, and the 2014-2018 government program is here. These documents are the basis of the unity government and will be used as a reference for any dispute that may arise, and what Abadi’s government should be judged on.

A colleague has helpfully provided an English summary of the political blocs agreement and government program respectively:

Political agreement between blocs of the national unity government 2014

Implement a comprehensive program to address outstanding issues in a manner that is entirely in accordance with the principles of the constitution:

1)     Form an inclusive government with a decision making process that espouses team spirit and partnership between all political stakeholders.

2)     Pursue national reconciliation program. General amnesty for those who have not shed Iraqi blood and justice for the victims of terror; depoliticise the debathification process by ending the work of the Accountability and Justice Committee and refer all outstanding cases to the courts to determine; amend the counterterrorism law. 6 MONTHS

3)     All polticial blocs agree to stand together to fight terrorism and liberate all territories occupied by ISIL. All arms and armed units should be under the direct control of the formal state security apparatus in accordance with Article 9(i) of the constitution.

4)     Rehabilitate and rebuild towns that have been devasted by violence and damaged by military operations through establishment of  a  reconstruction fund in coordination with international organizations; provide adequate humanitarian relief to displaced persons until they are able to safely return to their homes.

5)     New approach to security management by raising the professionalism of the Iraqi Security Forces and ensuring that they are representative of all segments of Iraqi society so that all Iraqis can participate in the liberation of Iraq from ISIL. 6 MONTHS

6)     Continue to incorporate volunteers into armed units and introduce new legislation to establish national guards at the provincial level consisting of locals who will serve as reservists to bolster army units, in addition to playing a central role in security management on the provincial level. 3 MONTHS

7)     Combat corruption by implementing a new strategy that begins by reassessing the state’s anti-corruption mechanisms and introducing new measures to reform the country’s bureaucracy.

8)     Ensuring fair representation and participation of all Iraqis within state institutions as stipulated by the constitution by introducing legislation to establish the Federal Public Service Council that will oversee the employment of civil servants in a manner that does not discriminate or exclude Iraqis on the basis of sect or ethnicity. 6 MONTHS

9)     Commitment to safeguarding the independence of the judiciary primarily through passing legislation that governs the Federal Court and Supreme Judicial Council. 6 MONTHS

10)  Commitment to a constructive relationship with the legislature to ensure that parliament can play a positive role; amend the internal regulations of parliament. 3 months

11)  Ensure democratic procedures within the Council of Ministers by approving the internal regulations of the Council of Ministers. 3 MONTHS

12)  Resolve outstanding disputes over the status of independent bodies and institutions.

13)  Resolve outstanding disputes over revenue streams of the religious Waqfs. 6 MONTHS

14)  Commitment to upholding human rights within all state institutions including the protection of all citizens from abuse and violations; complete establishment of the Human Rights Commission; pass bill on freedom of opinion and expression. 3 MONTHS

15)  Introduce legislation and laws to govern the rights and responsibilities between central, regional and local governments in a manner that safeguards the unity of Iraq; pass legislation for the Federal Council and the Commission on Allocation of Federal Revenues. 6 MONTHS

16)  Resolve outstanding revenue sharing disputes between the central government and the KRG by passing a hydrocarbons law. 6 MONTHS

17)  Commitment from the central government to immediately resume budget payments to the KRG in return for a commitment from the KRG to export oil from the Kurdistan Region through the federal system. 1 MONTH

18)  Find an acceptable resolution to Kirkuk and the disputed territories for all the residents in line with Article 140 of the constitution. 1 YEAR

19)  Provision of adequate support for the Peshmerga within the framework of the national guards. 3 MONTHS

20) Activate the committee responsible for revising the constitution in accordance with Article 142. 3 MONTHS

Iraqi Government Program

Security and counterterrorism

–       Commitment to ensure that the state establishes a monopoly on the use of arms and that all armed groups are under direct command of the formal state security apparatus.

–       Ensuring that Iraqi Security Forces are committed to protecting citizens.

–       Rally international support to combat terrorism in Iraq.

–       Work to achieve security and stability of Iraq and the protection of its strategic facilities.

–        Rebuilding  a professional and efficient armed forces that represents all segments of Iraqi society.

Foreign Policy

– Concerted efforts to pursue foreign relations on the basis of mutual interests, with a particular focus on security and counterterrorism cooperation.

–  Commitment to promoting friendly relations with all neighbors based on the principle of  non-interference in domestic affairs of others.

Administrative reform

–       Implement administration decentralization through an overhaul of administrative and bureaucratic procedures.

–       Introduce a comprehensive plan to overhaul civil and military institutions in order to root out corruption and enhance efficiency and productivity of the government by introducing e-government.

–       Utilize local and international expertise to enhance policy planning mechanisms.

–       Establish a strong working relationship with the Council of Representatives to cooperate and coordinate on legislative and supervisory matters.

–       Resolving financial, administrative and legal disputes through the proper constitutional and legal channels rather than resorting to political deals.

Economic reform and development

–       Implement a comprehensive strategy to encourage sustainable development as outlined by Iraq’s National Development Plan 2013-2017.

–       Shift focus towards private sector development and promote investment in variety of sectors.

–       Raising the standard of public services and quality of life for all citizens with a focus on health, education, electricity and transportation infrastructures.

–       Continue to increase oil and gas production and oil export capacity to bolster economic growth.

–       Introduce economic and financial reform package with the aim of transitioning to a market economy.

–        Modernize financial management systems and budgetary spending.

Political reform and social welfare

–       Commitment to the principles outlined in the formal compact agreed upon by political blocs participating in the unity government.

–       Establishing policies on energy and finance that lead to fair distribution of wealth.

–       Depoliticize state institutions and promote equal employment opportunities for all Iraqis with a view to ensuring fair representation of all segments of Iraqi society within state institutions.

–       Firm commitment to uphold principles of human rights within all state institutions including the protection of citizens from violations and abuse.

–       Commitment to resolve all outstanding issues with the Kurdistan Region as well as other political partners that is wholly in line with the constitution.

–       Strengthening the role of women and civil society in the public domain.

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