ASIA/IRAQ - Representatives of the minorities block the inclusion of exclusively Islamic experts in the Supreme Court

Monday, 22 March 2021 middle east   oriental churches   politics   islam   sharia   religious minorities   ethnic minorities  

Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) - Iraqi MPs who represent ethnic and religious minorities in parliament were able to boycott a change in the law aimed at exclusively appointing Islamic experts as consultants to the Federal Supreme Court. This is reported by the Iraqi media, which also cite comments from political representatives of minorities who are satisfied with the result.
In the days immediately following Pope Francis' visit to Iraq (5-8 March), political controversy around one of the amendments to the laws governing the functioning of the Federal Supreme Court, to be submitted to parliamentary vote, had progressively grown. The amendment envisaged that four experts in Islamic jurisprudence - two Shiites and two Sunnis - should be appointed to the Court to assess questions related to the constitutionality of laws that contradict Islamic law. The parliamentarians in the seats reserved for minorities, including Chaldean, Syrian and Assyrian Christians, had from the outset expressed their opposition in this regard, as only Islamic experts were to be included in the organizational chart of the Supreme Court. When voting on this controversial point, the minority MPs and the Kurdistan Democratic Party abstained from voting. Islamic parties, after failing to obtain the required majority, were asked to allow advisers from all components, including minorities, to join the Supreme Court. After this change, the motion was adopted on Thursday March 18, with the support of 204 MPs out of 329.
In a press release, minority MPs called for the application of the new rules on the composition of the court to be suspended until the next political elections, which
should be held early next October.
The holding of early national elections has always been one of the main demands of the protests that have rocked the country since the end of 2019.
In addition to ratifying the election results, the Federal Supreme Court's task is to interpret the Constitution and to judge constitutional disputes.
In the current parliament five seats are reserved for Christian MPs, one seat each for the Yazidis, Mandaean-Sabaeans and Shabak. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 22/3/2021)

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