First Published: 2010-11-05

 

Iraq's idle MPs urged to return salaries

 

Civil society groups will launch legal battle for Iraqi MPs left idle since March election to return 40 million dollars in salaries, allowances.

 

Middle East Online

Repeated violations of the constitution despite a supreme court decision

BAGHDAD - Civil society groups said Friday they are to launch a legal battle for Iraqi MPs left idle since a March 7 election to return the 40 million dollars they have received in salaries and allowances over the past eight months.

"The Iraqi Civil Initiative to Protect the Constitution has decided to appeal to the supreme court for the return of remunerations received by parliament members since the election," a coalition of 12 groups said.

The groups, in a statement, said they would organise a demonstration on Saturday in central Baghdad's Tahrir Square "to protest against the repeated violations of the constitution despite a supreme court decision."

The general election ended in deadlock after none of the main parties won enough of the 325 seats in parliament to form a majority government. Iraq has since been left without a new administration.

Parliament itself has remained in hiatus, except for a 20-minute oath-taking ceremony and another brief meeting at which acting speaker Fuad Massum declared an indefinite "open" session.

On October 24, Iraq's supreme court ordered parliament to resume work, after the same alliance of civil society groups launched a legal case against Massum, accusing him of violating the constitution by leaving the session open.

As a result, MPs are scheduled to convene on Monday to elect a speaker and two deputies, the first step toward forming a government.

But with about 50 MPs on pilgrimage to Islam's holiest sites in Mecca, western Saudi Arabia, and other political groups unwilling to attend, it is unlikely to reach a quorum.

The constitution stipulates that a speaker, president and prime minister must be elected in that order.

The Sunni-dominated Iraqiya bloc of former premier Iyad Allawi narrowly won the election with 91 seats, closely followed by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shiite State of Law Alliance with 89.

Neither has been able to muster a majority, despite back-door negotiations with various Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs which also picked up seats.

 

Libya jihadists declare Benghazi ‘Islamic emirate’

Carnage in Gaza Strip as death toll passes 1,300

Morocco king deplores unequal wealth distribution

US plans largest ever sale of lethal missiles to Iraq

Qatar invests in Israeli soccer

Identification of Air Algerie crash victims ‘could take years’

Philippines prepares to evacuate 13,000 citizens from Libya

Jihadists fight on more than one front in Syria

Sudan Christian woman chooses US as final destination to settle down

France moves to disband violent Jewish group

Chief of Iran Quds Force ridicules calls to disarm Hamas

US supports Israel with weapons, Gaza with sweet words

Syria Kurds battle jihadists killing nearly 50

West watches post-Gathafi Libya descend in chaos

Mosul’s residents rise up against jihadists

Militants fire at Tunisia army helicopter

Islamists capture key Benghazi army base

16 killed in Israeli shelling of UN school in Gaza

Italian fire-fighting planes to come to Libya rescue

Syria rebels advance towards Hama military airport

Bloodshed in Gaza surges amid no truce

Major western powers call for Libya ceasefire

US-Israeli ties sink to new depths over Gaza war

UN warns buying oil from terrorists could lead to sanctions

Air Algerie crash black boxes sent to France

Warning of Tripoli catastrophe after huge oil depot blaze

US, UN call for immediate Gaza ceasefire

Egypt army kills 14 jihadists in restive Sinai Peninsula

Calls for temporary Gaza ceasefire fall on deaf ears

Yemen army foils new Qaeda attempt to seize military posts

Investigators need ‘few days’ to probe cause of Algeria plane crash

Tunisia army suffers more losses in open war with terrorism

Jihadists advance amid escalation in Syria anti-regime offensive

Iraq Shiite militia takes bloody revenge against ‘Islamic State’ in Baquba

Fierce clashes kill at least 38 people in Benghazi

Israel resumes devastating military assault on Gaza

Thousands face famine as food security situation worsens in Somalia

Death toll in Gaza climbs as fragile ceasefire reveals destruction

Egypt summons Turkey charge d'affaires for second time in one week

‘Islamic State’ jihadists dynamite Shiite shrine in Mosul

US evacuates embassy staff in Libya over ‘real risk’

Investigators begin 'difficult' probe into Air Algerie plane disaster

Armed men snatch Head of Baghdad Provincial Council

‘Islamic State’ beheads Syrian soldiers in Raqa

Kerry in Paris for talks on long-term Gaza truce