Building the state and its character is an internal matter for the Iraqi people

The Iraqi Communist Party has firmly rejected the non-binding resolution presented by Senator and U.S. presidential candidate Joseph Biden, and adopted by the U.S. Senate on Sept. 26, and said that the resolution violates the sovereignty of Iraq and the rights of the Iraqi people.

The resolution called for the division of Iraq into three entities on the basis of sectarian and ethnic affiliation, under a federal government of limited powers, which would undertake to secure borders and distribute oil revenues.

An editorial article published on Oct. 1 in “Tareeq Al-Shaab” (The People’s Path), the central organ of the Iraqi CP, stated “this odd resolution of the U.S. Senate has met with widespread rejection among large sections of the Iraqi, regional and international opinion, both popular and official.”

The article pointed out that “federalism is not division, and establishing it is an internal Iraqi matter, not an American one. … International law and norms do not give the right or authority to the U.S. to impose anything against the will of the Iraqi people (though the occupation formally ended according to UNSCR 1546).”

The editorial explained the support of the Iraqi CP for a federal system of government. The party has held this position since the early 1990s in view of developments in the Iraqi Kurdistan region following the popular uprising of March 1991. This was affirmed later on in the Iraqi constitution, with its First Article stating that “the Republic of Iraq is an independent unified federal state, that is fully sovereign, with a democratic, parliamentary and republican system of government. This constitution guarantees the unity of Iraq.”

The Iraqi CP had stressed “the need for consolidating federalism in Iraqi Kurdistan as the democratic solution to the Kurdish national problem in the real and actual conditions of Iraq.” It also supported, in principle, the establishment of a federal regime in Iraq, on condition that the Iraqi people will decide the form of the regions that would be set up, in accordance with the constitution and the mechanisms included in the “Law for Establishing Regions.” The party has also supported the distribution of powers between the centre and the provinces so as to strengthen decentralization, whether for the whole of Iraq or within regions.

The editorial stressed, however, the need to take into account, when setting up federal regions, the aspirations of the area concerned and fulfilling the free will of its population, “rejecting sectarianism, diktat and coercion.” In addition, this process has to take place “in a climate of national consensus, providing favorable conditions for national reconciliation and restoring security and stability. In this way, the setting up of regions within the framework of a unified democratic Iraq, will be a factor of stability and tranquility, strengthening national unity that is based on free will and voluntary union.”

“The federalism that we look forward to and aspire to achieve depends, as stated in the Iraqi constitution, on the free will of Iraqis and their right to choose the character of their state and regime, rather than responding to any transient circumstance or fulfilling agendas other than those agreed upon by the Iraqis which safeguard their interests, irrespective of their ethnicities, religions and confessional affiliations. Federalism as such is diametrically opposed to the resolution passed by the U.S. Senate.”

The editorial drew attention to the fact that “this resolution, and others that violate Iraqi sovereignty and the rights of our people,” prove once again that “the state of unprincipled infighting among political forces and blocs, the lack of stability and security, the continued sectarian polarization and agitation, the activities of lawless militias, the weakness of the state and its institutions, all encourage external parties to continue interfering in Iraq’s affairs and strive to influence the course of events according to their own interests rather than the Iraqi people’s vision for the future of their country.”

“It is time therefore for measures to be taken that contribute to political relaxation and to mechanisms to bring about an overall national dialogue leading to a real national consensus, putting an end to the state of violence, restoring security and stability, building state institutions on the basis of citizenship, competence, professionalism and integrity, instead of the detested sectarian quotas and narrow partisanship.”

The editorial concluded by expressing the hope that the U.S. Senate resolution, “which we oppose and reject in its aim to divide Iraq along sectarian and ethnic lines,” will provide new impetus for all political forces to work together in order to reform the political process and achieve national consensus so as to enable the country to defeat terrorism, eliminate sectarian polarization, spread security and stability, speed up the restoration of full national sovereignty, and move forward towards the building of a state based on institutions and law, and achieve a unified federal and democratic Iraq.”