This is exercerpted from Juan Cole's Website.
According to a commentator there are provisions to replace a member of parliament. The faction from which the member comes appoints a replacement. If this is true then al Maliki will not be able to push through the oil law simply by locking up Sadrists and others who oppose the law unless he can do that within the time frame in which the missing MPs must be replaced. In any event I expect that reaction to jailing MPs or even dismissing cabinet members may be such that Maliki's government will fall anyway.
Parliamentarians from the Sadr Bloc vowed that they would resist Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's plans to dismiss 5 out of 6 cabinet ministers from their party. The Sadrists have 32 seats in the Iraqi legislature, and their support was key to the election of al-Maliki last spring.
KarbalaNews.net reports in Arabic that al-Maliki gave an interview in which he said that high judicial authorities are preparing indictments against members of parliament for involvement in militia and death squad activity. Maybe al-Maliki thinks he does not need the Sadrist MPs because so many of them will soon be in prison.
Indeed, the scale of the indictments against sitting Iraqi representatives and officials hinted at by al-Maliki suggests a judicial coup.
Given that Sunni and Sadrist MPs have been loudest in denouncing the new oil law, if large numbers of them were incarcerated, it would also make it easier for al-Maliki to get the legislation enacted.
There are no mechanisms for by-elections to the Iraqi parliament to my knowledge, so that the parliamentarians that are arrested will likely not be replaced until late 2009. The arrests could dramatically alter the relative proportion of representatives of various communities. No Kurds will be arrested, since their Peshmerga militia has been legalized, so their bloc will be strengthen