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Iraq’s toxic partisanship continues

Iraq is still hashing out its long overdue parties law, which will need ratification by the very parties it's intended to rein in.
Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri attends a conference at the Foreign Ministry in Baghdad March 31, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmed Saad - RTR4VMP5
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BAGHDAD — There is something ironic about the Iraqi partisan arena, which has been governed since 2004 by Order 97, issued that year by the US civil administrator of Iraq, Paul Bremer. The order organized the parties’ work and directed preparation for the elections that resulted in the formation of the Interim National Assembly in 2005.

Iraqi parties that exploited the provisions of the order to gain temporary legitimacy until a constitution was adopted and a parties law drafted discovered that the ensuing political environment was ideal for them to conduct their political activities freely. No clear commitments or responsibilities to divulge their sources of funding and hold internal elections were enforced, and they put any laws in that regard on the political back burner for years.

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