Cultural Salon on “The Draft Law on Political Parties”

Baghdad, 25 September 2011

On 25 September 2011, a cultural salon hosted a plenary discussion on the Draft Law on the formation of political parties, which is one of the most important episodes in the political life of the Iraqi society and the nature of the new emerging democratic system. This draft law is fundamental for the organisation of free and fair elections, by determining the sources of legal funding for political parties, electoral campaigns and provide equal opportunities for all parties to participate fairly in electoral processes.
The first reading of the bill in the Iraqi parliament was held during its fifteenth session on 30 July 2011, which has caused a public uproar and calls for the need to amend the bill in its current version.
It is in this sense that the Session was carried out, providing an opportunity - the first of its kind in this matter - for a broad and open dialogue and exchange of views between political leaders, members of the Iraqi Parliament, academics, legal experts, representatives of parties which are not represented in the parliament, as well as representatives of minorities and vulnerable or marginalized social groups.
The seminar discussion, brought together many representatives of Iraqi Parties and members of Parliament involved in amending the law which allowed them to expressed their concerns on the most important joints of the law, shrouded in mystery and imbalance in some paragraphs, participants agreed on the importance of the law of parties and its impacts on the reality of political life and the future of Iraq, and that the draft bill needs to be drafted with precision and professionalism.

Among participants and key speakers, Vice-Presidency of the Council of Representatives and a large number of members of parliament, former ministers and political figures accounted for most of the Iraqi political blocs, in the presence and participation of parties not currently represented in parliament, academics and relevant experts and representatives of civil society organizations active in the democratic support and education, the President of Legal Committee at the Parliament, the former President of Electoral Commission at the Parliament, a Political Consultant for UN in Iraq, a Professor of Law at Bagdad University, as well as representatives of the Italian and Dutch embassies.
The intense discussion between participants had concluded with a set of recommendations for the Party Law draft stressing the need for the establishment of a funding system that insures parties independence from illegal political financing, the need for a law that guarantees women in the leadership of parties at ratio of 25% , in addition to resolving difficulties in regulations to make party registration easier for whoever wants to participate in the Iraqi democratic process.