Dr. Esraa Mahmood Badr Alsamee
Parliament is a constitutional institution that operates according to the principle of prosecution for the purpose of legislating the necessary laws in the state in addition to its other roles. Thus, the real presence of the parliament is manifested in being the legislative tool that acts on behalf of the people, and this requires the Member of Parliament to play his/her legislative role in all honesty and with diligent regard to the lives and interests of the people.
Members of parliament are the essential engine of the work of the parliament, through the tasks assigned to them by legislation and oversight. As the deputies of the nation, they should pursue their parliamentary work according to the Constitution, internal regulations, and adherence to the ethics of parliamentary action.
A significant requirement of this role is to work on the legislation of important laws, especially those that relate to political institutions or that are in direct contact with the rights and freedoms of citizens and organize aspects of their activities and that ensure decent living standards for them, so the Council of Representatives addresses any defect in this subject and works to speed up the legislative process of a number of important laws.
Parliamentary membership is not so much a personal privilege as a duty, one which involves serious work to find realistic solutions by attending meetings of parliament and its committees, in order to fulfil the role assigned to them in the political system. The role of a member is work for the interests of the people he or she represents, to enhance the needs and interests of citizens, and to reconcile these with national interests.
It is true that the discussions in the parliament are an important element in the performance of the member’s role. Also, the number of members present is an important matter in the voting process on decisions or recommendations in the legislative and supervisory fields.
The phenomenon of absent members has an effect on parliamentary work. There are a rising number of cases where voting on issues in parliament is prevented because of the frequent absence of members. This phenomenon is not found only in Iraq, but even in the oldest democracies, and in each case, it brings into question the credibility and legitimacy of the legislature. This study will aim to focus the discussion on the absence of parliamentarians under the Iraqi Constitution of 2005 and the Rules of Procedure
of the Iraqi Parliament. This would go a long way in highlighting the phenomenon of absence in parliament and how to solve it. The absences of members are rising for many reasons, including the weakness of parliamentary oversight and the lack of legal means to punish members for unexcused absences.
This situation leads to an increase in the absence of parliamentarians, indicating that it is necessary to enact laws to reduce this phenomenon. One approach is to formulate legal texts that regulate the work of members and their presence in parliamentary sessions and committee meetings.