Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Iraq Parliament Moving To Reject Occupation Before End Of The Year

The parliament today passed a binding resolution that will guarantee lawmakers an opportunity to block the extension of the UN mandate under which coalition troops now remain in Iraq when it comes up for renewal in December. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose cabinet is dominated by Iraqi separatists, may veto the measure.The law requires that any future extensions of the mandate, which have previously been made by Iraq's Prime Minister, be approved by the parliament. It is an enormous development; lawmakers reached in Baghdad today said that they do in fact plan on blocking the extension of the coalition's mandate when it comes up for renewal six months from now.

Reached today by phone in Baghdad, Nassar al Rubaie, the head of Al-Sadr bloc in Iraq's Council of Representatives, said, "this new binding resolution will prevent the government from renewing the UN mandate without the parliament's permission. They'll need to come back to us by the end of the year, and we will definitely refuse to extend the UN mandate without conditions." Rubaie added: "there will be no such a thing as a blank check for renewing the UN mandate anymore, any renewal will be attached to a timetable for a complete withdrawal."

Without the cover of the UN mandate, the continued presence of coalition troops in Iraq would become, in law as in fact, an armed occupation.