Decentralization of Gov’t
So the “big” news now is all about the decentralization of the Iraq Federal government.
Essentially it is giving more power to the provinces. If you have been reading my news letters all along you must remember the news I have been including much about this desire and necessity all along. I have explained why this is so important to the formation of this new government. I will now address this topic in more detail.
This is an effort in the making and totally supported by the west and Europe. It is a good thing for Iraq and it does fall within the framework of their constitution (ref: Provincial Council) and should have been addressed a long time ago. Maliki of course never wanted to give up this power to the provinces and skated around the issue anytime it was brought up again in parliament. This part of the constitution was never implemented. It simply never went anywhere. However, Dr Allawi and associates have been working tirelessly in the background fro years to make this a reality and just now we are beginning to see the seeds they planted take root.
Did you ever wonder why it took so long for Allawi to be appointed a deputy of parliament? He was skeptical at first of the new government, and like everyone else he needed proof of its legitimacy and honesty. He is now onboard and I personally believe his job as deputy will be to manage this new council called the “Federation Council” or as the constitution refers to it as the “Provincial Council”. Why they changed the name I have no clue.
Remember the “Federation Council”? I first mentioned this way back in January of 2013 in many of my news letters.
This is the constitutional foundation for the decentralization effort. It is modeled much like in the USA as they have states within the Federal government. Each state has limited autonomy. So too each providence in Iraq will have limited autonomy. With the advent of the Islamic militant attacks, and the recent attacks in Anbar by the former Maliki government on the citizens, as well as the recent bombings in the mosques , it is even yet more apparent for everyone to now see the need to address this issue and begin the process to fully implement this new council as soon as possible. This is what the new Iraq government is now doing.
Why do I feel this effort is now being supported by the new government (when it was not supported by the Maliki government) ?
So yesterday the speaker of the house Jubouri said during a press conference with the heads of provincial councils in the parliament building, that "the provincial councils are the cornerstone of democracy-building and according to the constitution and on this basis should be given a lot of powers," adding that "the Council House legislation would be binding laws and distribution of imports and natural resources to the provinces and the Federation Council adoption of the law and speed up the approval of the general budget.
It is noteworthy that the second amendment to Law No. 21 of 2008, recently passed by the Iraqi Council of Representatives, addresses the overlap between the powers of the local governments and the central government, and gives legislative powers and control very wide to the provinces, and gives the provinces half revenues border crossings, also provides for the provinces of oil-producing five dollars instead of one dollar for every barrel of oil produced.
How will this benefit the provinces?
Do you realize just how amazing this news was yesterday? We have been waiting for this news for many years now. By increasing the oil revenue shares they essentially killed 2 birds with one stone 1) part of the HCL implementation 2) funding the Federation Council efforts (Provincial Council).
Why do I mention all this and what is the significance to the revaluation of the currency?
Can’t you see how this is going to make Iraq yet a safer place to live. The six main provinces will have representation now in the government too, if fact they will be reviewing each law for its relevancy as written by the GOI prior to it being forwarded to parliament. They will have veto power. WoW !
For the first time ever the provinces will have a direct impact in the government. As part of this decentralization effort they will also have their own national guard funded by the oil revenues. This will be used to protect themselves against any government tyranny or terrorist attempts. They will have swat teams that will investigate immediate threats and not rely on delayed reactions from the federal government, which has been the lack of prevention of many of these bombings in the past years.
This means self protection and self preservation at the provincial level but these guard units too can be called upon to join and assist the Federal Army in case of a national emergency. So can you also see that in the Federal Army you will also get a mix of population instead of it being one sided. Did I mention the Pershmerga forces from Kurdistan? These forces too will be included in the national forces to fight along side the Federal Army and protect Iraq as a whole. This is all something that was planned for years ago and should have already been implemented. But we all know why it wasn’t.
This is some of the news that come out this week:
Abadi said in his first news conference after the assignment in the formation of the government "to assure that the weapon must remain in state hands, there is no place for any armed group, whether militias or clans or popularly crowd".
Abadi, expressed optimism about the formation of a government gathered most of the currents of political actors , and is working to contain the sectarian tensions and addressing the gunmen.
In a televised interview al-Abadi was quoted, who enjoys the support of regional and Western, as saying on Monday that talks on forming a government "constructive," and predicted "clearer vision" on a unified program to form a power-sharing government can contain sectarian tensions and to address Qaeda fighters "Islamic state" who controlled large areas of northern and western Iraq.
This is also part of the formation of the new government ! (when we talk about the requirements of a fully formed government)
I do not think they will make any announcement of a fully formed, functional government without fully implementing the “Federation Council”. I do not believe we will have to wait until all these new initiatives and programs are fully implemented. We must however see the acceptance and implementation of this new council as part of the government. It will be included in the formal announcement when we finally get it from Abadi.
More House Cleaning
In previous news letters I mentioned that Abadi is going through each ministry and fine tuning the department. He has essentially eliminated or combined many of the ministries. He got rid of the “fluff” and positions of favoritism that they have gotten used to. Today they are telling us more in the news about this continued effort.
For the first time ever all outgoing ministries must prepare mission statements and ministerial portfolios and present these to the head of the new government and to the new appointed ministers, as they are ending their term as minister. This information contains full details and should paint an accurate, clear picture of the work of the ministry to the new minister and make him/her fully aware of all the aspects and obstacles to continue the functions of the ministry entrusted to him.
Also included in the details of this file include the number of employees in the ministry and the number of its departments and formations with its organizational structure and administrative. In addition it will include the tasks undertaken by the ministry such as projects on the books and ratios completed and commissioned with future projects and full details on stalled projects and the causes, pointing out that the details will go down to the nitty gritty of even including to the extent of the number of telephones within the ministries and other media organizations and agencies that deal with the ministry, adding that this technique depends scientific sober for the first time in the government.
This is what I call transition stuff. It is organization, management and leadership pure and simple. Gotta Luv It ! This is the kind of stuff we have been long waiting for. This is normal practices in a government but it must be initiated by the leadership team. It is about time. It is all very good and demonstrates to us once again the trust level in that this new government has what it takes to turn this county around.
So today’s news is still good news but not what we expected to hear.
What can we expect next?
So we now wait and see if they live up to completing the government by the required constitutional timeline. We have seen in this news letter and other recent news letters the reasons for the hold ups and the delays.
We now have a new target of Sept 9th. I personally do not believe they will take to this outer target date since they have been really close up to now. Why else would they give us two past dates for an announcement if they were not that close already?
We can expect the effort to bring Nori Al-Maliki and his son to trial to pick up pace and I believe just as soon as the government is announced and he loses immunity, he and his goons will be indicted.
I believe the government is very much all but done and seated. All they need is to fine tune it and complete it so they can announce it to the world. I have shown you some of this fine tuning or house cleaning.
In the recent past weeks they have had difficulties getting the blocs to submit good candidates for the ministry positions. We have see article after article on this topic where Abadi has come out and stated the criteria for candidates must be met or they will be rejected. I believe they now will find a decent line up of ministers.
Then when can we expect the RV?
All I will say is what I have been saying all along we wait for a formal (global) announcement to the public that the Iraq government is now fully formed. Many of you asked me if a formal, public announcement is necessary and the answer is a big fat YES.