Monday, June 21, 2004


Muhafatha Councils - Notes and Limitations

A Muhafatha council comprises the delegates (1/7) of the Naheya Councils. As with Naheya Councils, the law should define Muhafatha Council proceedings to ensure uniformity of procedure throughout Iraq.

1. The Muhafatha Council appoints the Muhafith (governor) and can replace him.
2. The council approves the Muhafith’s nominations for key administrators and civil servants.
3. The authority of the Muhafatha Council over the Naheya Council should be limited by law to the absolute minimum necessary for coordination to prevent its interference with local Naheya affairs or its dominance over them.
4. It is also necessary to curtail the Muhafatha Councils authority to issue laws and regulations, to maintain the integrity of the country as a whole and attain a reasonable uniformity of laws throughout Iraq. Likewise, the authority of the central government over the Muhafatha council should be watched closely to prevent dominance. Obviously, this is an important question of debate for the various factions of the country and has to be left to the various political forces to settle through a democratic process. The central governments freedom to act in national emergencies has to be also maintained.
5. All Muhafatha council members have to be full time members. Their regular contact with their Naheyas has to be maintained.
6. The council can, and should, form specialist committees to conduct its business.
7. Again, it is beneficial to retain and use the existing organizations and administrative structures to help run the Muhafatha.
8. It may be important to request a minimum of education level for delegates from the Naheyas as well as for delegates from the Muhafatha Council to the National Local Government Council.
9. Baghdad represents a special problem due to its shear size. It may probably require three Councils to run its local affairs (for example, Karkh, Rissafa and Perimeter).

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