Transitional Administrative Law


Transitional Administrative Law
(TAL)
   This was the interim constitution of post-Saddam Hussein Iraq promulgated on 8 March 2004, for a democratic federal Iraq. It was largely favored by the Kurds but opposed by many Arabs as being forced upon them by the United States. Article 4 of the TAL provided for the federalism sought by the Kurds, but in an ambiguous manner: "The federal system shall be based upon geographic and historic realities and the separation of powers, and not upon origin, race, ethnicity, nationality, or confession." Seldom has one sentence so blatantly contradicted itself in the name of compromise!
   The Kurdish proponents of ethnic federalism, however, were pleased because Chapter 8 of the TAL was entitled "Regions, Gover-norates, and Municipalities" and specifically mentioned the "Kurdistan Regional Government" and its considerable powers in "the design of the federal system in Iraq." Article 58 of the TAL provided that a referendum be held by the end of 2007 to determine the ultimate political fate of Kirkuk, which the Kurds claimed should become part of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) but which also consisted of many Arabs, Turkomans, and Christians. This, of course, was an earlier version of the famous Article 140 of the permanent Iraqi constitution that was finally adopted on 15 October 2005 and thus superseded the TAL. Article 61(c) of the TAL also pleased the Kurds as it gave them an effective veto over the text of the permanent Iraqi constitution that was finally adopted.

Historical Dictionary of the Kurds. .

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