Iraqi government affairs outlined

The following highlights Iraq's priorities in government affairs as it opened its first parlimentary session on Wednesday, after landmark democratic elections in January.

    Iraq held its first parliamentary session in the Green Zone

    Presidency Council: After the National Assembly's inaugural session, one of its first orders of business will be to elect, by a two-thirds vote, a so-called Presidency Council, composed of a largely ceremonial president and two vice presidents.

    Choosing a Prime Minister: Once the Presidency Council is established, it has two weeks to choose an official candidate for prime minister, who must then be approved by the assembly with a simple majority vote of confidence.

    If the three council members fail to agree unanimously on a nominee for prime minister, the assembly must do so by a two-thirds vote.

    Choosing a cabinet: The prime minister has one month to nominate his Council of Ministers, or cabinet, and present his choices to parliament. If he fails to do so, the Presidency Council must name another prime minister.

    The prime minister and his cabinet must be confirmed by the assembly with a simple majority vote of confidence before starting their work as a government.

    Once the Presidency Council is established, it has two weeks to choose an official candidate for prime minister

    Drafting new Constitution: The assembly's most important task will be to draft a permanent constitution. Parliament must write the draft by 15 August. If it fails to meet that deadline, it can request a six-month extension, just once.

    Referendum on new Constitution: Iraqis must vote on the proposed constitution in a referendum by 15 October. It must be ratified by a two-third majority of voters.

    Next elections: If the constitution is approved, elections for a permanent government to replace the assembly will be held by 15 December, and the new parliament and government must assume office by 31 December.

    If voters reject the charter, the National Assembly will be dissolved and a new transitional assembly and government will be elected in December to take another stab at constitution-writing.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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