The Guardian March 17, 2004

Initial view of Iraq CP:
on the Transitional State Administration Law

The following are excerpts from the editorial of Tareeq Al-
Shaab, the central organ of the Iraqi Communist Party, giving 
an initial response to the Transitional State Administration Law 
approved Monday March 8, 2004, by the interim Iraqi Governing 

This important law will organise and direct political life in the 
country, determine the relationship between various authorities, 
chart the handover of power to the Iraqis, the ending of the 
occupation and restoration of independence and sovereignty, the 
building of democracy over the next two years, and prepare for 
the drafting of a permanent constitution and the holding of 
general elections.

It is not a permanent constitution but acts in place of one 
during the transitional period, and will have a significant 
influence on formulating a constitution in the future.

This explains the importance of this political, programmatic 
document in the life of the Iraqi people, both at present and in 
the near future. Depending on the proper implementation of this 
document and abiding truly by its contents, a lot can be achieved 
by consolidating the rights and freedoms of citizens, groups and 
constituent parts of the Iraqi people, and ensuring that they are 

The document therefore helps to mobilise the efforts of all 
Iraqis and concentrates on whatever helps them to restore 
security and stability, restore sovereignty and independence, 
consolidate democracy and the rule of law, and build civil 
society, along with eliminating the legacy of all crimes 
committed by the defeated dictatorial regime (in political, 
cultural, national, religious, demographic terms).

The document is, of course, neither perfect nor ideal. It is the 
outcome of a consensus among forces, parties and figures of 
different ideological and political currents. It is an outcome of 
the conditions arising in the country which is living under 
occupation, the balance of forces and prevailing political 
climate (domestic, regional and international).

Despite some failings (such as the lack of popular participation 
in discussing the document beforehand), and shortcomings in 
specific clauses (the weak role of the UN in supervising its 
implementation, the weak commitment by the state to provide 
social services and security, the lack of clarity regarding the 
role of foreign multinational forces during the transitional 
period, and others), the document remains positive in its essence 
and general concepts. It responds to the urgent and legitimate 
demands of the political, national, religious and cultural 
spectrum and constituent parts of Iraqi society.

It is, therefore, an expression of political reality, and a 
common denominator for the aspirations of various strata of our 
people under conditions which are the most complex and sensitive 
ever witnessed in their contemporary history.

The document is balanced in the way it deals with the country's 
identity, clear in specifying openly the rights and freedoms of 
citizens, in stressing equality, and in emphasising Iraqi 

In all events, it can be considered an acceptable compromise and 
settlement between various visions, opinions and interests of the 
constituent parts of our people. There is therefore no victor or 
vanquished, no winner or loser.

It provides the opportunity for wide and responsible 
participation in rebuilding the country  politically, culturally 
and socially for all those who have at heart the interest of the 
homeland and the peoples' dignity, who reject oppression, 
dictatorship and its crimes.

The above brief remarks are no substitute for the need for a 
close reading and study of the document, with its nine chapters 
and 62 clauses. Let this initial reading launch wide discussion 
and serious study which aims, among other things, to ensure 
people's scrutiny and direct participation in supervising the 
proper implementation of this important document and abiding by 
its guiding principles.

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