Bethnahrain Patriotic Union and Beth Nahrain Democratic Party issue joint statement in condemnation of introducing “Islamic” veto in Iraq’s Federal Court

ANKAWA, Iraq – After much public commotion and denouncements about the amendment to the Federal Court law which introduces Islamic legal scholars as experts to the Iraqi Federal Court, the Bethnahrain Patriotic Union and the Beth Nahrin Democratic Party issued a joint statement in condemnation, in no uncertain terms, of the law.

The two Suraye political parties begin their statement by referring to the Iraqi opposition conference in London which “studied the level of persecution and oppression that the Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people have been subjected to. The conference recognizes the necessity of ensuring their equality with others and the necessity for them to enjoy legitimate national, cultural, and administrative rights within a specific legal framework, and which is constitutionally guaranteed.”

From the political end-statement of the Iraqi opposition conference, London, 14-15 December 2002.

The joint statement by the Bethnahrain Patriotic Union and the Beth Nahrin Democratic Party reads;

“Today, after 18 years since the fall of dictator Saddam Hussein and the return of Iraqi opposition to power, that “opposition” has been highly active, from the very beginning, in assuming the role of godfather of political Islam and to stifle any possible perspective in establishing the long-awaited project of building a civil state in Iraq. The disappointment is great because the fall of the Ba’ath regime provided a favorable and much-wanted opportunity for the Shia majority to distance themselves from artificial solutions and restore the Iraqi citizen’s mindset and reinforce national ties between the Iraqi people, regardless of ethnicity and sectarian affiliation – among which is our Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian people, the oldest and most ancient people in the history of Mesopotamia.”

“We refer to upholding the cornerstones of the nation-state, the rule of law and state institutions. The state does not belong to individuals or parties that exercise power in name of and over the state. The passing of legal texts claiming the necessity of the presence of religious jurists within the Federal Court Judicial Authority, the highest judicial authority in Iraq, in a way that allows them to vote and veto draft laws, is conclusive evidence of the failure of democracy and justice in Iraq – and it ignores the fact that the Law Code of Hammurabi (1754 BC) constitutes the first building block for any constitution in human history.”

The joint statement further states that the amendment to Federal Court law is nothing less than a deliberate insistence on destroying the state’s civil rule and a violation of the content of Article 126 of the Iraqi constitution. Article 126 states that it is not permissible to amend the basic principles contained in Chapter One of the rights and freedoms stipulated in Chapter Two of the Constitution, except after two successive election sessions, upon the approval of two-thirds of the members of parliament, the approval of the people in a general referendum, and the approval of the President of the Republic within seven days.

The amendment was passed in federal parliament without consultation of the Iraqi people.

The statement concludes by calling the amendment an insult to the demands of the majority, a violation of the aspirations of the people, and a reproduction of the model of oppressive regime, in addition to the negative repercussions it will have on Iraq’s national unity.

Representatives of the minority components of Chaldeans-Syriacs-Assyrians, Yazidis, Sabean-Mandaeans, and many other representatives boycotted the vote in parliament on the amendment to the Federal Court law.