Bihar Mahmoud of the parliament's legal committee stressed the need to make changes
to a draft law amending the nationality law before enactment.
The draft law has good articles, Mahmoud said, adding that the law, however, grants too much power to the Minister of the Interior regarding citizenship law. The draft law also make granting the Iraqi nationality an administrative issue rather than a sovereign issue.
The draft law also does not equalize between the father and the mother, which is contrary to article 14 of the Iraqi constitution, Mahmoud said.
Article 4 of the draft law granting the nationality to foreigners according to the requirements of the public interest is ambiguous, and can be used by the council of ministers to grant the citizenship to anyone easily, Mahmoud added.
Foreigners residing in Iraq, under the law, can be granted the citizenship after staying for two years only or, in some cases, one year, which is a very short period, Mahmoud said.
Iraqi politicians, parliamentarians and lawmakers warned in March against passing the amendment of the nationality law, stressing that the adoption of such amendment will negatively impact the demographic structure in Iraq.
They said that some foreign parties, known for their expansionist ambitions in Iraq, are behind pushing Iraq to adopt this amendment, which will allow even millions of their citizens to get the Iraqi nationality.
Hussein al-Akabi, a member of the parliament's legal committee warned against passing the amendment, saying that most of the political blocs totally reject the amendment. He added that it will give the opportunity for the parties that are hostile to Iraq to have an easy access to the Iraqi citizenship.
Under this law, the son of an Iraqi woman married to a foreigner if later comes to Iraq would have the right to obtain the citizenship, Akabi said. In addition, a person residing legally or illegally in the country would have the right to obtain citizenship after two years of residence.
For his part, MP Mohamed al-Khalidi, head of the Goodness Banners bloc, said that the amendment can endanger the economy of the country because it allows those who have resided in the country for two years to get the citizenship, adding that they will then demand to be provided with services, jobs and other rights.
The population in Iraq is growing and has currently hit about 35 to 40 million people, Khalidi said, affirming that there is no need to add more citizens. He noted that this law will make demographic changes to the country in the future.
Khalidi suggested, instead, granting citizenship to investors who pump more than one million dollars in Iraq, in order to attract investors. He also proposed granting the citizenship to competent people and other professionals.
Tarek Harb, a legal expert, warned against the social, political and economic impact of the amendment, saying that Iraq's already suffers from overpopulation.