Iraq to Have Gov't Based on a Parliament

The new political system in Iraq will be centered around a strong parliament that can prevent a dictator from running the country in the future, a constitution committee member said Wednesday.

Thamer al-Ghadban (search) said there will be bicameral system: a parliament that is elected by the people, and a regional council with representatives elected by residents of each province.

"There has been an agreement that the political system in Iraq will be parliamentary," al-Ghadban told reporters. "This system was chosen to prevent any chance of a dictatorship in the future."

Al-Ghadban said that parliament will have the right to summon and question senior state employees. It will also be authorized to grant votes of confidence to the government.

His statement came as committee members sought to reach agreement on key disputes including federalism, the role of Islam, distribution of wealth, Iraq's identity and language.

Humam Hammoudi, chairman of the 71-member committee drafting the constitution, has called political leaders from the Kurdish, Sunni Arab (search) and Shiite communities to meet Friday to see if they can forge compromises in order to finish the document by the Aug. 15 deadline.

Iraqis will have a chance to vote on the constitution in a referendum scheduled for mid-October. General elections were slated by year's end.

The president will be elected by the National Assembly for a four-year term, the prime minister will be the supreme commander of the armed forces, and the defense minister must be a civilian, al-Ghadban said.

He said there has been an agreement on decentralized governments in the regions. He added that there will be a "federal court whose job is to solve problems between regions or between regions and the central government."

Another member, Shiite cleric Ahmed al-Safi (search), said disagreement on the role of Islam continues.

"There are three different opinion about Islam's role," he said. "One says that Islam should be the main source of legislation, another says Islam should be a main source of legislation, while the third says Islam should be one of the sources of legislation."