Kurdish Factions Oppose 2018 Budget Draft in Meeting with Iraqi President

Kurdish Factions Oppose 2018 Budget Draft in Meeting with Iraqi President

The leaders of five Kurdish political factions from the Iraqi Parliament met on Saturday (December 2) with Iraqi President Fuad Masoum to express their opposition to the 2018 budget draft law.

Masoud Haidar, a member of the Change Movement (Gorran) party reported that they spoke to three Kurdish members of the parliament’s finance committee who attended the meeting.

“We notified President Fuad Masoum about our views and assessment to be conveyed to the Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi,” he said.

The Kurdish faction leaders told the Iraqi President that they will vote against ratifying the budget draft set to be put into vote during a coming parliament session, Haidar added.

The first reading of the draft is set to take place on Saturday (December 2) and then will be presented to the parliament’s financial committee, if approved.

According to the usual proceedings by parliament, nearly two weeks after the first reading the draft will go under second vote by the legislative leadership to be finally approved.

The Kurdistan Region has called on the Iraqi Parliament to not ratify the country’s 2018 budget draft because it is "unilateral" [benefits Baghdad primarily] and is "unconstitutional."

The draft has measures that reportedly marginalize the constitutional and legal entity of the region, by referring to Kurdistan region of Iraq as the “northern provinces of Iraq.”

The Iraqi Constitution (2005) clearly uses the term Kurdistan region in its references to the federal entity and its rights, responsibilities and protections.