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Parliament votes on lifting immunity of four MPs; holds second reading on extending deadline for legislative proposals

The Kurdistan Parliament on 7 May held the second reading of a draft resolution to exceptionally extend the period that MPs can submit legislative proposals, due to the delay caused by the Coronavirus outbreak. They also voted on lifting the parliamentary immunity of four MPs who have been summoned by courts in various lawsuits.

(Outside the legislative session, the decision to lift the immunity is made by the Presidency Board).

Deputy Speaker Hemin Hawrami, who presided at the sitting, said that Kurdistan Parliament was implementing Article 24 of Parliament’s internal rules of procedure. The rules are that a simple majority vote of present MPs can lift an MP’s immunity, and the lifting of immunity is limited to the crime or case mentioned in the judicial request and does not apply on any other acts.

Several courts in different locations have summoned MPs to appear and reply to cases made against them. Deputy Speaker Hawrami said that no one is above law.

The voting was as follows: Of the 58 present MPs, 57 voted to lift the parliamentary immunity of MP Soran Omar Said (Kurdistan Islamic Group).There were also votes to lift the immunity of Omed Khoshnaw (KDP), Ali Hama Salih (Change Movement) and Shirin Amin Abdul Aziz (Change Movement), but for each of them less than five MPs voted in favour of lifting their immunity.

Parliament also held the second reading of a resolution to exceptionally extend for 30 days the period that MPs can submit proposals for legislation. This is to mitigate the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak measures on the legislative work of Parliament.

Once the relevant committees issue their final report on the resolution with suggestions on each article, MPs will vote on the resolution at its third reading at a future sitting.