Ahead of constitutional deadline, UN envoy calls on Iraq to form new government

Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Nickolay Mladenov. Photo: UNAMI

Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Nickolay Mladenov. Photo: UNAMI

Iraq, 6 August 2014 – The top United Nations official in Iraq today urged the country’s political leadership to set aside its difference and work together to form an inclusive government that could overcome “the grave challenges” faced.

The call comes ahead of an 8 August Constitutional deadline for the newly elected President Fuad Ma’soum to nominate a prime minister, who would then form a new Government.

In a statement, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Nickolay Mladenov, said the new body should have “wide parliamentary approval and support from all Iraqi components.”

“Only by adhering to the Constitution and upholding the democratic process can the current life-threatening crisis be addressed, and Iraq’s sovereignty and independence secured,” said Mr. Mladenov, who is also the head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI).

Iraq is currently trying to contain militants belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The ongoing fighting has displaced more than 500,000 people since June, according to UNAMI. All total, some 1.4 million have been displaced inside Iraq, including more than 230,000 Syrian refugees, who are also forced to flee.

“At this time of peril, Iraq cannot withstand any unconstitutional delay in the nomination of a Prime Minister, or a long and drawn-out government formation process,” Mr. Mladenov said, urging political leaders to rise to the challenges and fulfil their responsibilities as representatives of Iraq’s citizens.

Despite the continuing fighting, politicians on 15 July chose Salim al-Jubour as the new Speaker of the Council of Representatives, who in turn chose Mr. Ma’soum on 24 July.

According to Article 76 of the Iraqi Constitution, the President-elect now has two weeks to nominate a prime minister, a deadline that will be reached at the end of this week.