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 Council: 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 practised. 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 citizenship. 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.