Thank You President Barzani
Inside the Other Iraq: Exclusive
Columns by Mariwan Salihi
Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — On June 27, Iraq's
Kurdistan Region Parliament
approved a law that would allocate
four guards to each MP when serving as a member of
parliament, and two guards after their retirement
Law 10 was considered a controversial law by the
overwhelming majority of the people in Kurdistan
Region; not only was it un-necessary, but it could
have been a burden on the already much-debated
This week, Kurdistan Region President Massoud
law and rejected to sign Law 10.
President Massoud Barzani's decision to refuse to
sign the law, is a welcoming gesture, and highly
appreciated among residents in Kurdistan Region.
Why Law 10 was
In an area that considers itself the 'safest part of
Iraq,' Law 10's increase from the current allocated
three bodyguards to four, and two guards after
retirement 'until death,' raises many questions.
First of all, there's no other nation, or region, in
the world with a law that's similar to that of Law
10. So what makes Kurdistan Region so different than
the rest of the world?
Second, Kurdistan Region is regarded as a safe area,
where there are no terrorist attacks or few security
threats, in comparison to the rest of Iraq, which
despite some improvement in its security situation,
it still is a high-risk nation with daily killings
and bombings. So why would a Kurdistan Region MP ask
for these allocations?
Third, allocating four guards while in office, and
two when retired, asks for a very large budget, that
is better spent on other vital needs for this
underdeveloped region. Today's priorities in
Kurdistan Region would be upgrading the
employment opportunities for the young, improving
healthcare, education, etc. Why spend so much money
today, and in the future, on MP's that are already
protected by the political parties they represent?
In fact, even their current allocation of three
guards is considered as too much; they should be
instead reduced to two and not more. And when they
retire, they should retire like any other citizen:
Fourth, the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament has 111
members. In other words: 444 guards while they are
in office. In let's say 20-30 years from now, how
many guards will serve the hundreds (if not
thousands) of MP's who are already retired by then?
How many brigades from the army will they require?
In a region where journalists face death, beatings,
and threats, doesn't it make more sense for the
Kurdistan Region Parliament to at least provide 2
guards for each journalist that works here? I
haven't heard of any case where parliamentarians are
killed, beaten or threatened in Kurdistan Region,
while local journalists have to face that reality
regularly. It's probably time that Kurdistan's
parliamentarians (of course, the opposition
included!) move in a different direction. Being
given a highly respected seat, in a highly respected
building, should not mean they become selfish and
greedy, and pass laws that only highlight their own
I, hereby, thank President Massoud Barzani for
taking this historical decision. In the future, we
hope that His Excellency looks at more of these
highly important issues, and condemns any similar
law that will undermine Kurdistan Region's
economical, political and social development.
F. Salihi, is a Netherlands
national, a freelance journalist covering Iraqi
and other Middle Eastern issues, and
regular eKurd.net contributing writer. You may reach the author via email at:
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