Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06BAGHDAD4119
2006-11-04 10:09:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Baghdad
Cable title:  

BAGHDAD PRT - CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS PUSH FOR

Tags:  IZ KDEM PGOV PHUM 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO9557
RR RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #4119/01 3081009
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 041009Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7843
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHWSR/WHITE HOUSE SITUATION ROOM WASHINGTON DC
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 004119 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/02/2016
TAGS: IZ KDEM PGOV PHUM
SUBJECT: BAGHDAD PRT - CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS PUSH FOR
PROVINCIAL POWERS LEGISLATION

Classified By: Classified by Joseph Gregoire, PRT Team Leader, for reas
ons 1.4 (b) and (d).

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 004119

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/02/2016
TAGS: IZ KDEM PGOV PHUM
SUBJECT: BAGHDAD PRT - CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS PUSH FOR
PROVINCIAL POWERS LEGISLATION

Classified By: Classified by Joseph Gregoire, PRT Team Leader, for reas
ons 1.4 (b) and (d).


1. (C) SUMMARY: On October 18 Baghdad Provincial
Reconstruction Team (PRT) officers and PolOff attended an
NGO-sponsored conference to generate support for provincial
elections and governorate powers legislation. The conference
was hosted by the NGO Najaf Human Rights Commission and
brought together a number of Iraqi human rights NGOs, and
international and Iraqi government representatives from
across Iraq. The conference sponsor released a set of 13
recommendations (not made available to PolOff until 25
October) for consideration by the Council of Representative
(CoR) Governance Committee in its drafting of the anticipated
provincial elections and local governmental powers laws.
Highlights of the recommendations include a call to amend
Article 121 of the Constitution to allow provincial governors
to be elected rather then appointed by the provincial
councils; to establish minimum educational, age and residency
requirements to serve as governor; and to define the
relationships between the provincial councils, national
ministries, and sub-provincial districts. Notably absent
from the discussion was talk about the timing of provincial
elections. END SUMMARY.

ATTENDANCE, ATMOSPHERICS, AND DISCUSSION
--------------


2. (SBU) The keynote speaker at the conference was Al
Al-Shaibani, General Secretary of the Najaf Human Rights
Center for Democracy Support. Shaiban,s remarks focused on
Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) Order 71, the Local
Government Powers Law, still in effect and the law under
which the current provincial councils are authorized and
function. Shaibani emphasized the historic nature of the CPA
Order 71, which allowed provincial leadership to be
democratically elected for the first time in Iraq,s history.
He also called for provisions in its replacement that will
permit the direct election of governors and deputy governors.



3. (SBU) Shaibani was followed by speakers from the Women
Empowerment Organization, representing the Kurdish Regional
Government (KRG) and the north; the Iraqi Organization for

Human Rights Coordination, representing central Iraq; and the
Najaf Human Rights Commission, representing the southern
region. Each of the speakers, remarks and recommendations
were similar. Each highlighted the overall poor quality of
their respective provincial councils and the lack of a
well-defined relationship of accountability between the
councils and the people they ostensibly serve and represent.
The speaker representing the north emphasized the need to
reinforce the Iraqi identity. The speaker from the central
region remarked that many of its inhabitants don't know how
members of provincial council are selected. And the speaker
from the south pointed to the disconnect between the
provincial councils and the national government in Baghdad.


CONFERENCE RECOMMENDATIONS
--------------


4. (SBU) The afternoon session of the conference began with
open comment and discussion from the floor, after which a
prepared statement and list of conference recommendations
were presented to the attendees. The conference organizers
plan to present the following 13 recommendations to the CoR
for its consideration in preparing the provincial elections
and provincial powers laws:


A. Provincial councils should be elected by direct popular
vote in an open list electoral system.


B. Article 121 of the Constitution should be amended to allow
for the direct election of provincial governors and deputy
governors by the electorate rather than appointment by
provincial councils as is the current practice.


C. The independence of provincial councils from Iraqi
national ministries must be reaffirmed.


D. The term of office for provincial council members should
be limited to no more than three years.


E. Minimum educational, age, and residency requirements
should be established to run for election to provincial
councils.


BAGHDAD 00004119 002 OF 002



F. The authority of provincial councils should be made
clear. This authority should be focused on provincial
governance, including the monitoring of local government
performance.


G. The new law should ensure representation from each of the
provincial districts on the provincial councils.


H. The new law should define the relationship between the
provincial councils and district councils.


I. The new law should guarantee minority and ethnic
representation on all provincial councils.


J. The new law should define the relationship between
provincial councils and regional governments that may be
formed as well as the relationship between provincial
councils and the national government.


K. A committee composed of civil society organizations and
NGOs should be set up to monitor and advise the provincial
councils.


L. At least 25 percent of the members of provincial councils
should be female.


M. The law should provide for government supported training
centers for provincial officials.


5. (C) COMMENT: The conference was sparsely attended but
heavily covered by local print and television media. Billed
as a provincial elections conference, the focus was on
provincial powers and on building momentum for the
replacement of CPA Order 71 (Local Government Powers).
Demands by participants resulted in modifications of the
planned release, adding three additional recommendations.
Provincial elections were not discussed as a specific topic
at the conference. END COMMENT.
KHALILZAD