Mar 18 2013
By Adel Kadhem
Azzaman, March 18, 2013
The Iraqi government says it is working hard to meet most of the demands raised by demonstrators and their leaders in the latest unrest that swept central Iraqi provinces.
Huge demonstrations erupted in the Provinces of Nineveh, Salahudeen, Ramadi and parts of Baghdad in protest against what many in Iraqis see as ‘discriminatory’ and ‘unjustified’ legislation.
Hayder al-Mulla, a member of the commission the government has set up to negotiate with the demonstrators, said he was pleased to announce that “most of their demands have been met.”
But he said it was not in government power to change legislation and the issue needed urgent action from the parliament.
He said the government had no objection to introduce drastic revisions of the disputed law of ‘debaathification’ under which members of the former ruling Baath party are not allowed to take positions or jobs in the public sector, the military and other security organs.
High-ranking Baath party members will be put on pension and liable to all accompanying benefits, Mulla said.
Lower ranking Baath members will have the right to return to their previous positions, he said.
Mulla also said the government had agreed to issue ‘an amnesty’ the details of which should be worked out with the parliament.
He urged Iraqi legislators to meet soon and issue the reforms and revisions to reinstate stability and normalcy in central Iraq, the scene of demonstrations.
Central Iraq has a majority Muslim Sunni population. Sunni leaders complain of discrimination and unfair practices by the Muslim Shiite-dominated government.
Mulla said the government had even agreed to remove orders of confiscation regarding property owned by former Baathists.
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