A self-imposed penalty
Iraqi parliament implements million-dinar absentee fine to encourage attendance
BAGHDAD — Members of Iraq’s parliament will now face fines of one million dinar for each unexcused absence in a self-imposed move by the legislative body to encourage active attendance and participation following years of truancy by lawmakers.
Iraqi MP Waad Qaddo told Al-Sabah newspaper that fellow ministers had voted the measure, which was approved by acting speaker Mohsen Al-Mandalawi. “Tthe decision by the acting speaker of the council, Mohsen Al-Mandalawi, is legal and was approved internally during recent sessions,” Qaddo said, adding that power to approve the decision fell within Al-Mandalawi’s authority.
The decision largely came from lawmakers themselves who emphasized that parliamentarians should take on personal responsibility to fulfill their duties, stay current on issues discussed, and meet the needs of citizens, Qaddo added.
Basra representative Asad Al-Bazooni, further clarified the decision was an attempt at ensuring “the operational rhythm” of parliament and to ensure members attended sessions.
“A member of parliament should bear their legislative and legal responsibilities towards the country and the public,” Al-Bazooni stated. “A deduction of one million dinars for each day of absence is meant to exert pressure, and the deterrent should be personal, targeting the parliamentarian’s conscience in bearing responsibility.”