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Constitution of Iraq (2005) – 3: Federal Powers

Section Three

Federal Powers

Article 47:

The federal powers shall consist of the legislative, executive, and judicial powers, and they shall exercise their competencies and tasks on the basis of the principle of separation of powers.

Chapter One

[The Legislative Power]

Article 48:

The federal legislative power shall consist of the Council of Representatives and the Federation Council.

First: The Council of Representatives

Article 49:

First: The Council of Representatives shall consist of a number of members, at a ratio of one seat per 100,000 Iraqi persons representing the entire Iraqi people. They shall be elected through a direct secret general ballot. The representation of all components of the people shall be upheld in it.

Second: A candidate to the Council of Representatives must be a fully qualified Iraqi.

Third: A law shall regulate the requirements for the candidate, the voter, and all that is related to the elections.

Fourth: The elections law shall aim to achieve a percentage of representation for women of not less than one-quarter of the members of the Council of Representatives.

Fifth: The Council of Representatives shall promulgate a law dealing with the replacement of its members on resignation, dismissal, or death.

Sixth: It is not permissible to combine membership in the Council of Representatives with any work or other official position.

Article 50:

Each member of the Council of Representatives shall take the following constitutional oath before the Council prior to assuming his duties:

“I swear by God Almighty to carry out my legal duties and responsibilities with devotion and integrity and preserve the independence and sovereignty of Iraq, and safeguard the interests of its people, and ensure the safety of its land, sky, water, wealth, and federal democratic system, and I shall endeavor to protect public and private liberties, the independence of the judiciary, and pledge to implement legislation faithfully and neutrally. God is my witness.”

Article 51:

The Council of Representatives shall establish its bylaws to regulate its work.

Article 52:

First: The Council of Representatives shall decide, by a two-thirds majority, the authenticity of membership of its member within thirty days from the date of filing an objection.

Second: The decision of the Council of Representatives may be appealed before the Federal Supreme Court within thirty days from the date of its issuance.

Article 53:

First: Sessions of the Council of Representatives shall be public unless, for reasons of necessity, the Council decides otherwise.

Second: Minutes of the sessions shall be published by means considered appropriate by the Council.

Article 54:

The President of the Republic shall call upon the Council of Representatives to convene by a presidential decree within fifteen days from the date of the ratification of the general election results. Its eldest member shall chair the first session to elect the speaker of the Council and his two deputies. This period may not be extended by more than the aforementioned period.

Article 55:

The Council of Representatives shall elect in its first session its speaker, then his first deputy and second deputy, by an absolute majority of the total number of the Council members by direct secret ballot.

Article 56:

First: The electoral term of the Council of Representatives shall be four calendar years, starting with its first session and ending with the conclusion of the fourth year.

Second: The new Council of Representatives shall be elected forty-five days before the conclusion of the preceding electoral term.

Article 57:

The Council of Representatives shall have one annual term, with two legislative sessions, lasting eight months. The bylaws shall define the method to convene the sessions. The session in which the general budget is being presented shall not end until approval of the budget.

Article 58:

First: The President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Council of Representatives, or fifty members of the Council of Representatives may call the Council to an extraordinary session. The session shall be restricted to the topics that necessitated the call for the session.

Second: The legislative session of the Council of Representatives may be extended for no more than 30 days to complete the tasks that require the extension, based on a request from the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Council, or fifty members of the Council of Representatives.

Article 59:

First:

The Council of Representatives quorum shall be achieved by an absolute majority of its members.

Second:

Decisions in the sessions of the Council of Representatives shall be made by a simple majority after quorum is achieved, unless otherwise stipulated.

Article 60:

First:

Draft laws shall be presented by the President of the Republic and the Council of Ministers.

Second:

Proposed laws shall be presented by ten members of the Council of Representatives or by one of its specialized committees.

Article 61:

The Council of Representatives shall be competent in the following: First: Enacting federal laws.

Second: Monitoring the performance of the executive authority.

Third: Electing the President of the Republic.

Fourth: Regulating the ratification process of international treaties and agreements by a law, to be enacted by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Council of Representatives.

Fifth: Approving the appointment of the following:

A.        The President and members of the Federal Court of Cassation, the Chief Public Prosecutor, and the President of Judicial Oversight Commission by an absolute majority, based on a proposal from the Higher Juridical Council.

B.        Ambassadors and those with special grades, based on a proposal from the Council of Ministers.

C.        The Iraqi Army Chief of Staff, his assistants, those of the rank of division commander and above, and the director of the intelligence service, based on a proposal from the Council of Ministers.

Sixth:

A.        Questioning the President of the Republic, based on a petition with cause, by an absolute majority of the members of the Council of Representatives.

B.        Relieving the President of the Republic by an absolute majority of the Council of Representatives after being convicted by the Federal Supreme Court in one of the following cases:

1-    Perjury of the constitutional oath.

2-    Violating the Constitution.

3-    High treason.

Seventh:

A.        A member of the Council of Representatives may direct questions to the Prime Minister and the Ministers on any subject within their specialty and each of them shall answer the members’ questions. Only the member who has asked the question shall have the right to comment on the answer.

B.        At least twenty-five members of the Council of Representatives may raise a general issue for discussion in order to inquire about a policy and the performance of the Council of Ministers or one of the Ministries and it shall be submitted to the Speaker of the Council of Representatives, and the Prime Minister or the Ministers shall specify a date to come before the Council of Representatives to discuss it.

C.        A member of the Council of Representatives, with the agreement of twenty-five members, may direct an inquiry to the Prime Minister or the Ministers to call them to account on the issues within their authority. The debate shall not be held on the inquiry except after at least seven days from the date of submission of the inquiry.

Eighth:

A.        The Council of Representatives may withdraw confidence from one of the Ministers by an absolute majority and he shall be considered resigned from the date of the decision of withdrawal of confidence. A vote of no confidence in a Minister may not be held except upon his request or on the basis of a request signed by fifty members after the Minister has appeared for questioning before the Council. The Council shall not issue its decision regarding the request except after at least seven days from the date of its submission.

B.

1- The President of the Republic may submit a request to the Council of Representatives to withdraw confidence from the Prime Minister.

2- The Council of Representatives may withdraw confidence from the Prime Minister based on the request of one-fifth of its members. This request shall not be submitted except after an inquiry directed at the Prime Minister and after at least seven days from the date of submitting the request.

3- The Council of Representatives may decide to withdraw confidence from the Prime Minister by an absolute majority of the number of its members.

C.        The Government is deemed resigned in case of withdrawal of confidence from the Prime Minister.

D.        In case of a vote of withdrawal of confidence in the Council of Ministers as a whole, the Prime Minister and the Ministers continue in their positions to run everyday business for a period not to exceed thirty days until a new Council of Ministers is formed in accordance with the provisions of Article 76 of this Constitution.

E.         The Council of Representatives may question independent commission heads in accordance with the same procedures related to the Ministers. The Council shall have the right to relieve them by absolute majority.

Ninth:

A.        To consent to the declaration of war and the state of emergency by a two-thirds majority based on a joint request from the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister.

B.        The state of emergency shall be declared for a period of thirty days, which can be extended after approval each time.

C.        The Prime Minister shall be delegated the necessary powers which enable him to manage the affairs of the country during the period of the declaration of war and the state of emergency. These powers shall be regulated by a law in a way that does not contradict the Constitution.

D.        The Prime Minister shall present to the Council of Representatives the measures taken and the results during the period of the declaration of war and the state of emergency within 15 days from the date of its end.

Article 62:

First: The Council of Ministers shall submit the draft general budget bill and the closing account to the Council of Representatives for approval.

Second: The Council of Representatives may conduct transfers between the sections and chapters of the general budget and reduce the total of its sums, and it may suggest to the Council of Ministers that they increase the total expenses, when necessary.

Article 63:

First: A law shall regulate the rights and privileges of the speaker of the Council of Representatives, his two deputies, and the members of the Council of Representatives.

Second:

A.        A member of the Council of Representatives shall enjoy immunity for statements made while the Council is in session, and the member may not be prosecuted before the courts for such.

B.        A Council of Representatives member may not be placed under arrest during the legislative term of the Council of Representatives, unless the member is accused of a felony and the Council of Representatives members consent by an absolute majority to lift his immunity or if he is caught in flagrante delicto in the commission of a felony.

C.        A Council of Representatives member may not be arrested after the legislative term of the Council of Representatives, unless the member is accused of a felony and with the consent of the speaker of the Council of

Representatives to lift his immunity or if he is caught in flagrante delicto in the commission of a felony.

Article 64:

First: The Council of Representatives may be dissolved by an absolute majority of the number of its members, or upon the request of one- third of its members by the Prime Minister with the consent of the President of the Republic. The Council shall not be dissolved during the period in which the Prime Minister is being questioned.

Second: Upon the dissolution of the Council of Representatives, the President of the Republic shall call for general elections in the country within a period not to exceed sixty days from the date of its dissolution. The Council of Ministers in this case is deemed resigned and continues to run everyday business.

Second: The Federation Council

Article 65:

A legislative council shall be established named the “Federation Council,” to include representatives from the regions and the governorates that are not organized in a region. A law, enacted by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Council of Representatives, shall regulate the formation of the Federation Council, its membership conditions, its competencies, and all that is connected with it.

Chapter Two

[The Executive Power]

Article 66:

The federal executive power shall consist of the President of the Republic and the Council of Ministers and shall exercise its powers in accordance with the Constitution and the law.

First: The President of the Republic

Article 67:

The President of the Republic is the Head of the State and a symbol of the unity of the country and represents the sovereignty of the country. He shall guarantee the commitment to the Constitution and the preservation of Iraq’s independence, sovereignty, unity, and the safety of its territories, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

Article 68:

A nominee to the Presidency of the Republic must be:

First: An Iraqi by birth, born to Iraqi parents.

Second: Fully qualified and must be over forty years of age.

Third: Of good reputation and political experience, known for his integrity,uprightness, fairness, and loyalty to the homeland.

Fourth: Free of any conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude.

Article 69:

First: The provisions for nomination to the office of the President of the Republic shall be regulated by law.

Second: The provisions for nomination to the office of one or more Vice Presidents of the Republic shall be regulated by law.

Article 70:

First: The Council of Representatives shall elect a President of the Republic from among the candidates by a two-thirds majority of the number of its members.

Second: If none of the candidates receive the required majority vote then the two candidates who received the highest number of votes shall compete and the one who receives the majority of votes in the second election shall be declared President.

Article 71:

The President shall take the constitutional oath before the Council of Representatives according to the language stipulated in Article 50 of the Constitution.

Article 72:

First: The President of the Republic’s term in office shall be limited to four years.He may be re-elected for a second time only.

Second:

A- The President of the Republic’s term in office shall end with the end of the term of the Council of Representatives.

B- The President of the Republic shall continue to exercise his duties until after the end of the election and the meeting of the new Council of Representatives, provided that a new President of the Republic is elected within thirty days from the date of its first convening.

C- In case the position of the President of the Republic becomes vacant for any reason, a new President shall be elected to complete the remaining period of the President’s term.

Article 73:

The President of the Republic shall assume the following powers:

First: To issue a special pardon on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, except for anything concerning a private claim and for those who have been convicted of committing international crimes, terrorism, or financial and administrative corruption.

Second: To ratify international treaties and agreements after the approval by the Council of Representatives. Such international treaties and agreements are considered ratified after fifteen days from the date of receipt by the President.

Third: To ratify and issue the laws enacted by the Council of Representatives. Such laws are considered ratified after fifteen days from the date of receipt by the President.

Fourth: To call the elected Council of Representatives to convene during a period not to exceed fifteen days from the date of approval of the election results and in the other cases stipulated in the Constitution.

Fifth: To award medals and decorations on the recommendation of the Prime Minister in accordance with the law.

Sixth: To accredit ambassadors.

Seventh: To issue Presidential decrees.

Eighth: To ratify death sentences issued by the competent courts.

Ninth: To perform the duty of the High Command of the armed forces for ceremonial and honorary purposes.

Tenth: To exercise any other presidential powers stipulated in this Constitution.

Article 74:

A law shall fix the salary and the allowances of the President of the Republic.

Article 75:

First: The President of the Republic shall have the right to submit his resignation writing to the Speaker of the Council of Representatives, and it shall be considered effective after seven days from the date of its submission to the Council of Representatives.

Second:  The Vice President shall replace the President in case of his absence.

Third: The Vice President shall replace the President of the Republic in the event that the post of the President becomes vacant for any reason whatsoever. The Council of Representatives must elect a new President within a period not to exceed thirty days from the date of the vacancy.

Fourth: In case the post of the President of the Republic becomes vacant, the Speaker of the Council of Representatives shall replace the President of the Republic in case he does not have a Vice President, on the condition that a new President is elected during a period not to exceed thirty days from the date of the vacancy and in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

Second: Council of Ministers

Article 76:

First: The President of the Republic shall charge the nominee of the largest Council of Representatives bloc with the formation of the Council of Ministers within fifteen days from the date of the election of the President of the Republic.

Second: The Prime Minister-designate shall undertake the naming of the members of his Council of Ministers within a period not to exceed thirty days from the date of his designation.

Third: If the Prime Minister-designate fails to form the Council of Ministers during the period specified in clause “Second,” the President of the Republic shall charge a new nominee for the post of Prime Minister within fifteen days.

Fourth: The Prime Minister-designate shall present the names of his members of the Council of Ministers and the ministerial program to the Council of Representatives. He is deemed to have gained its confidence upon the approval, by an absolute majority of the Council of Representatives, of the individual Ministers and the ministerial program.

Fifth: The President of the Republic shall charge another nominee to form the Council of Ministers within fifteen days in case the Council of Ministers did not win the vote of confidence.

Article 77:

First: The conditions for assuming the post of the Prime Minister shall be the same as those for the President of the Republic, provided that he has a college degree or its equivalent and is over thirty-five years of age.

Second: The conditions for assuming the post of Minister shall be the same as those for members of the Council of Representatives, provided that he holds a college degree or its equivalent.

Article 78:

The Prime Minister is the direct executive authority responsible for the general policy of the State and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He directs the Council of Ministers, presides over its meetings, and has the right to dismiss the Ministers, with the consent of the Council of Representatives.

Article 79:

The Prime Minister and members of the Council of Ministers shall take the constitutional oath before the Council of Representatives according to the language stipulated in Article 50 of the Constitution.

Article 80:

The Council of Ministers shall exercise the following powers:

First: To plan and execute the general policy and general plans of the State and oversee the work of the ministries and departments not associated with a ministry.

Second: To propose bills.

Third: To issue rules, instructions, and decisions for the purpose of implementing the law.

Fourth: To prepare the draft of the general budget, the closing account, and the development plans.

Fifth: To recommend to the Council of Representatives that it approve the appointment of undersecretaries, ambassadors, state senior officials, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces and his deputies, division commanders or higher, the Director of the National Intelligence Service, and heads of security institutions.

Sixth: To negotiate and sign international agreements and treaties, or designate any person to do so.

Article 81:

First: The President of the Republic shall take up the office of the Prime Minister in the event the post becomes vacant for any reason whatsoever.

Second: If the event mentioned in “First” of this Article occurs, the President shall charge another nominee to form the Council of Ministers within a period not to exceed fifteen days in accordance with the provisions of Article 76 of this Constitution.

Article 82:

A law shall regulate the salaries and allowances of the Prime Minister and Ministers, and anyone of their grade.

Article 83:

The responsibility of the Prime Minister and the Ministers before the Council of Representatives is of a joint and personal nature.

Article 84:

First: A law shall regulate the work and define the duties and authorities of the security institutions and the National Intelligence Service, which shall operate in accordance with the principles of human rights and shall be subject to the oversight of the Council of Representatives.

Second: The National Intelligence Service shall be attached to the Council of Ministers.

Article 85:

The Council of Ministers shall establish internal bylaws to organize the work therein.

Article 86:

A law shall regulate the formation of ministries, their functions, and their specializations, and the authorities of the minister.

Chapter Three

[The Judicial Power]

Article 87:

The judicial power is independent. The courts, in their various types and levels, shall assume this power and issue decisions in accordance with the law.

Article 88:

Judges are independent, and there is no authority over them except that of the law. No power shall have the right to interfere in the judiciary and the affairs of justice.

Article 89:

The federal judicial power is comprised of the Higher Juridical Council, the Federal Supreme Court, the Federal Court of Cassation, the Public Prosecution Department, the Judiciary Oversight Commission, and other federal courts that are regulated in accordance with the law.

First: Higher Juridical Council

Article 90:

The Higher Juridical Council shall oversee the affairs of the judicial committees. The law shall specify the method of its establishment, its authorities, and the rules of its operation.

Article 91:

The Higher Juridical Council shall exercise the following authorities:

First: To manage the affairs of the judiciary and supervise the federal judiciary.

Second: To nominate the Chief Justice and members of the Federal Court of Cassation, the Chief Public Prosecutor, and the Chief Justice of the Judiciary Oversight Commission, and to present those nominations to the Council of Representatives to approve their appointment.

Third: To propose the draft of the annual budget of the federal judicial authority,and to present it to the Council of Representatives for approval.

Second: Federal Supreme Court

Article 92:

First: The Federal Supreme Court is an independent judicial body, financially and administratively.

Second: The Federal Supreme Court shall be made up of a number of judges,experts in Islamic jurisprudence, and legal scholars, whose number, the method of their selection, and the work of the Court shall be determined by a law enacted by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Council of Representatives.

Article 93:

The Federal Supreme Court shall have jurisdiction over the following:

First: Overseeing the constitutionality of laws and regulations in effect.

Second: Interpreting the provisions of the Constitution.

Third: Settling matters that arise from the application of the federal laws,decisions, regulations, instructions, and procedures issued by the federal authority. The law shall guarantee the right of direct appeal to the Court to the Council of Ministers, those concerned individuals, and others.

Fourth: Settling disputes that arise between the federal government and the governments of the regions and governorates, municipalities, and local administrations.

Fifth: Settling disputes that arise between the governments of the regions and governments of the governorates.

Sixth: Settling accusations directed against the President, the Prime Minister and the Ministers, and this shall be regulated by law.

Seventh: Ratifying the final results of the general elections for membership in the Council of Representatives.

Eight:

A.        Settling competency disputes between the federal judiciary and the judicial institutions of the regions and governorates that are not organized in a region.

B.        Settling competency disputes between judicial institutions of the regions or governorates that are not organized in a region.

Article 94:

Decisions of the Federal Supreme Court are final and binding for all authorities.

Third: General Provisions

Article 95:

The establishment of special or extraordinary courts is prohibited.

Article 96:

The law shall regulate the establishment of courts, their types, levels, and jurisdiction, and the method of appointing and the terms of service of judges and public prosecutors, their discipline, and their retirement.

Article 97:

Judges may not be removed except in cases specified by law. Such law will determine the particular provisions related to them and shall regulate their disciplinary measures.

Article 98:

A judge or public prosecutor is prohibited from the following:

First: Combining a judicial position with legislative and executive positions and any other employment.

Second: Joining any party or political organization or performing any political activity.

Article 99:

A law shall regulate the military judiciary and shall specify the jurisdiction of military courts, which are limited to crimes of a military nature committed by members of the armed forces and security forces, and within the limits established by law.

Article 100:

It is prohibited to stipulate in the law the immunity from appeal for any administrative action or decision.

Article 101:

A State Council may be established, specialized in functions of the administrative judiciary, issuing opinions, drafting, and representing the State and various public commissions before the courts except those exempted by law.

Chapter Four

[Independent Commissions]

Article 102:

The High Commission for Human Rights, the Independent Electoral Commission, and the Commission on Public Integrity are considered independent commissions subject to monitoring by the Council of Representatives, and their functions shall be regulated by law.

Article 103:

First: The Central Bank of Iraq, the Board of Supreme Audit, the Communication and Media Commission, and the Endowment Commissions are financially and administratively independent institutions, and the work of each of these institutions shall be regulated by law.

Second: The Central Bank of Iraq is responsible before the Council of Representatives. The Board of Supreme Audit and the Communication and Media Commission shall be attached to the Council of Representatives.

Third: The Endowment Commissions shall be attached to the Council of Ministers.

Article 104:

A commission named The Martyrs’ Foundation shall be established and attached to the Council of Ministers, and its functions and competencies shall be regulated by law.

Article 105:

A public commission shall be established to guarantee the rights of the regions and governorates that are not organized in a region to ensure their fair participation in managing the various state federal institutions, missions, fellowships, delegations, and regional and international conferences. The commission shall be comprised of representatives of the federal government and representatives of the regions and governorates that are not organized in a region, and shall be regulated by a law.

Article 106:

A public commission shall be established by a law to audit and appropriate federal revenues. The commission shall be comprised of experts from the federal government, the regions, the governorates, and its representatives, and shall assume the following responsibilities:

First: To verify the fair distribution of grants, aid, and international loans pursuant to the entitlement of the regions and governorates that are not organized in a region.

Second: To verify the ideal use and division of the federal financial resources.

Third: To guarantee transparency and justice in appropriating funds to the governments of the regions and governorates that are not organized in a region in accordance with the established percentages.

Article 107:

A council named the Federal Public Service Council shall be established and shall regulate the affairs of the federal public service, including appointments and promotions, and its formation and competencies shall be regulated by law.

Article 108:

Other independent commissions may be established by law, according to need and necessity.

Next: Section 4 – Powers of the Federal Government

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