The "Basra County" resurfaces.. Its Supporters warn Al-Kadhimi from "Occupation"
Shafaq News/ The file of “Basra County” has returned to the forefront, its supporters have strongly warned the Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi that they would invade the provincial council in the future.
"If the existing political staff does not respond to the option of the county project, there will be a strong stand against anyone who stands in the way of Basra’s people demands, as the street has a desire and widespread support for the idea of the county", Karim Shawak, a prominent independent political figure in Basra, told Shafaq News agency adding, "Today, all provinces should think seriously about the county system and if Iraq's leaders were wise, federalism would have been activated throughout Iraq since 2003 and not in Kurdistan alone”.
Shawak pointed out, "There are steps to form the county per law 13 of 2008, and the first step -showing a 2% desire- was completed in 2015 after the Electoral Commission issued a resolution requesting the Prime Minister to approve two requests and allocate funds for the second phase of the project”, he also noted, “soon a special conference will be held to organize the project through specific timings and specific programs".
He also added, “The council of ministers has not responded to the allocation of funds according to the commission's decision; so there will be a popular movement to bring a case in the Federal Court to the prime minister if it does not respond to the decision of Basra’s people who are demanding the project”.
“supporters of the establishment of Basra County will work during the upcoming parliamentary elections to form a bloc of Basra deputies, whose goal will be to establish the county of Basra”, Shawak said, adding, "at the local level, if the provincial council elections are held, the next step will be the occupation of the provincial council, and if the required majority is reached, the Government of Basra will be formed from the people of Basra; we will allow no one to interfere with Basra".
Safaa Jasim, a citizen from Basra told Shafaq News agency, "The county project is a required by a few numbers, and it needs decisions from the legislative authority in the absence of provincial councils -that have been abolished by the Iraqi parliament; this needs a policy of acceptance from Basra’s society and the legislative authorities who are unable to follow up on the simplest file, which is a clean Basra, so how can they follow up on the County file in the light of political consensuses’ absence -even if it is announced to the media. Quota policy strongly exists in the ministries which means the absence of the political will to reach Basra people’s aim”.
As for Murtaza Al-Husseiny, one of Basra’s residents, he told Shafaq News agency, “the Iraqi politicians live in a cycle of numbness alongside the explosive budgets; in which they couldn’t handle the simplest requires such as electricity, drinkable water, health care, education,…etc. In light of the absence of these daily needs, the County project is nothing but a dream”. He also called on the deputies and decision-makers to resolve the pollution caused by the gas emitted by oil companies, as well as the deterioration of the health sector.
"If the announcement of the Basra County project is to be made clear, the public opinion should be clarified of the Iraqi governing system which is a federal, representative and democratic republic under the provisions of article 1 of the permanent Iraqi constitution, which stipulates that the Republic of Iraq is one independent federal state with full sovereignty and a democratic system of government, and this constitution is a guarantor of Iraq's unity", political analyst Abdullah Al-Saad told Shafaq news agency, and continued, “the constitution, in its first articles, provided federalism to the rest of the remaining descriptions of the government -which are republican, parliamentary and democratic- and article 116 of the constitution affirmed that the federal system in Iraq consists of the capital, decentralized provinces and local administrations”.
Al-Saad added, “it is the right of every Iraqi province that wants to be a county at the request of a public referendum following the Iraqi constitutional frameworks, and as stated in article 119 of the constitution, and therefore it is the right of the people of Basra or other provinces to demand to be a county”, and said, “the ruling political class in Iraq, which was calling to end the dictatorship in Iraq and distribute the powers, has retreated from those calls and is working hard to keep the keys of power and wealth in its hands after it was able to govern in Iraq; in addition to foreign interventions from some countries -which consider the formation of Basra County as an end to their economic interests and their influence in Iraq- and therefore the regional project is a dream for the aspiring people of Basra and those who want a dignified life.. This needs an organized and unified front to reach the desired goal".