Kurdistan Parliament – Iraq (KPI) and WFD Partnership continues within the framework of a joint Memorandum of Understanding, signed by the Speaker (Mr. ArsalanBayiz) in February 2013
The Westminster Foundation for Democracy, with the Kurdistan Parliament – Iraq (KPI) held a workshop on Parliamentary Oversight and the Role of the Opposition on 14 and 15 May this year.
The workshop gave the opportunity to members of the KPI to discuss the methods and tools of parliamentary oversight and to hear the experience of the UK, including regional parliaments and Arab countries, including Morocco and Egypt.
A total of 18 members of the KPI attended and opposition parties were well represented, including the Gorran (Change) Bloc, Islamic Group and the Turkmen List. The workshop concluded with an agreement to create an action plan for improving relationships within the parliament between members from all political parties.
WFD’s panel of experts for the workshop also met the Deputy Speaker, Mr.Hassan Muhammad Sura, and the Secretary of the Parliament, Mr.Farsat Ahmed. Mr.Sura welcomed WFD’s work and affirmed the KPI’s commitment to the Memorandum of Understanding signed in February between WFD and the KPI. He highlighted its importance of WFD’s programme to the KPI, by drawing on experience from other countries and supporting the KPI’s aims to build its capacity.
The workshop brought together a former Minister of Finance from the Northern Irish Assembly, Sean Farren, former senior clerk in the House of Commons, Paul Silk, a Moroccan MP and Vice Speaker, AbdellatifBerroho and an Egyptian academic expert in Arab parliamentary practice, AmrHashemRabie. Their contributions included extensive analysis of opposition practices and procedures for oversight in the UK and Arab countries, highlighting the role of the opposition.
In discussion with the MPs from the KPI participating in the workshop, issues of the rules and procedures of the KPI were frequently raised, with the implementation of the existing rules a current challenge.
The KPI members were also interested to discuss the varying strategies for oversight used in other countries, such as shadow government and the different approaches to questions, motions and committee work.