Iraq: military conscription bill discussion postponed till Tuesday
Iraq postpones discussing a bill to reinstate mandatory miliary service among young men between ages of 18 and 35 to next Tuesday
The first reading on a bill aiming to reinstate military conscription in Iraq was postponed to Tuesday after it was supposed to take place today, Sunday.
According to Iraqi MP Yasser Iskander Watout, the legislative proposal would constitute that young men between the age of 18 and 35 would have to serve mandatory military service for terms between three and 18 months depending on their level of education, and would be granted allowances of around 700,000 Iraqi Dinars.
Military service in Iraq was mandatory from 1935 to 2003 when the US-led coalition invaded the country.
Watout stated that if the law was passed it would take around two years to fully implement it, noting that those who are only sons or breadwinners would be exempted from the service.
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This is not the first time that this bill was discussed as it was initially submitted back in August 2021 by the Ministry of Defence to the government of then-PM Mustafa al-Kadhemi.
However, following a year-long political stalemate that faced Iraq after parties clashed on the formation of the new government, the bill was only reintroduced for discussions after the election of the new Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani.
On October 13, Iraqi President-elect Abdul Latif Rashid charged Mohammad Shia Al-Sudani with forming a new government. This came after Rashid was elected as President of the Republic of Iraq, after winning 162 votes in the second round of the elections.
Iraq officially announced victory over the terrorist IS in the country back in 2019, however cells of said terrorist groups continue to target governmental forces often in hit-and-run attacks.
Iraqi MP Sikfan Sindi called earlier during an interview with the state news agency INA for reinstating military conscription as the "terrorist threat" is still present.
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Although the bill has gained support from some legislators following its announcement, it also received criticism from lawmakers that considered passing it would backfire from its original purpose of promoting "patriotism".
Former Minister of Electricity in Iraq Louai al-Khatib pointed out that as the unemployment rate in Iraq is around 40% of young men eligible for work, it is more vital to "create centers for professional training" rather than making them serve mandatory military conscription.
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