Challenges and compromises: Resolving committee allocation disputes in Nineveh Council

Challenges and compromises: Resolving committee allocation disputes in Nineveh Council

Shafaq News / The issue of committees in the Nineveh Council remains unresolved, despite attempts at reconciliation through intermediaries aimed at sorting out the situation and enabling the council to carry out its normal duties, which were initially hindered at the beginning of its tenure.

According to members of the Nineveh Council, the dispute between the Unified Nineveh with 13 seats, and the Future Nineveh, consisting of coalitions totaling 16 seats in the council, seems to have reached a conclusion after the committees were divided within the council, with the former receiving nine committees and the latter receiving 11.

Tensions escalated within the Nineveh Council, which faced initial setbacks when it failed to convene its first sessions and select committees due to attempts by the Future coalition allies to seize 14 committees for themselves and leave only six for the Unified Nineveh, deepening the initial discord.

However, council members stated that mediation efforts by Nineveh Governor Abdul Qadir Al-Dakhil led to a convergence of viewpoints following an Iftar (breaking the fast during the holy month of Ramadan) gathering attended by the council's president and members from both major blocs, during which they discussed the reasons behind the dispute and ways to resolve it.

The members further explained that following the Iftar meeting, the committees were divided, with 11 allocated to Future Nineveh and nine to Unified Nineveh. Nevertheless, there was contention over key committees such as Health, Education, Industry, and Integrity, which the Future coalition sought to dominate, but agreements resulted in their equitable distribution between the parties.

In contrast, some council members objected to the form of agreement reached during the Iftar session called by the Nineveh Governor, asserting that their bloc leaders did not accept the agreement, according to an informed source.

The source pointed out that the Babylon Bloc led by Rayan Al-Kildani might not agree with the division of committees as agreed upon, as observed earlier in the day by some of its members.

The Unified Nineveh coalition consists of 13 seats, including splinter groups such as Nineveh for Its People Alliance led by former Nineveh Governor Najim Al-Jubouri, which won five seats in the elections. After Deputy Council President Mohammed Al-Jubouri broke away from them upon assuming office, Al-Hasm Alliance, led by Defense Minister Thabit Al-Abbasi, with two seats, and Al-Siyada (Sovereignty) Alliance with two seats, along with Al-Azm Alliance with one seat and the Democratic Party with four seats.

On the other hand, the Future Nineveh comprises 16 seats in the council, including the National Contract Alliance with three seats, National Identity with two seats, Hadbaa with two seats, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) with two seats, and quotas with three seats, along with defectors from Unified Nineveh who joined them, adding two seats and renewing one.

In this context, Dr. Ali Aghwan, a political science professor at the University of Mosul, opined that quota-sharing still prevails in the committee allocation process, which he considered an unfavorable indicator for citizens, as it may lead to a balance of power to cover issues between parties without addressing suspicious matters, under the pretext of balance, agreement, and quota.

Aghwan added that the Coordination Framework alliances have achieved significant political gains by dominating the majority of votes within the council at the expense of other political forces (Unified Nineveh).

Member of the Nineveh Provincial Council Hisham Al-Hashemi announced on Saturday his withdrawal from nominating himself for the chairmanship of any committee in the council, stating that his move aims to break free from partisan and political favoritism.

Additionally, Nineveh Council member Abdullah Al-Najifi called on what he described as "the rational voices on the other side," referring to the Framework forces, to prioritize the public interest in the local committee distribution file.

Observers believe that the functioning of committees in the council is fundamental to its success in oversight work, and conflicts over committees will harm the council in the future if committee heads and members do not carry out their duties professionally or lack the professional background to conduct oversight effectively.

Observers also note that "quota-sharing in Nineveh has taken sharp angles after stumbling at the beginning of sessions and committee formation, which will negatively impact quota-sharing in government departments and the selection of their candidates."

Earlier, the Nineveh Provincial Council had faced difficulties in convening its sessions to select committee heads for twenty committees due to problems in distributing committees between Unified Nineveh and Future Nineveh.

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