ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A Kurdish lawmaker in Baghdad on Sunday warned the Kurdistan Region's authorities of attempts by the Federal Government of Iraq to dissolve the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and remove Kurdish constitutional rights.
Massoud Hayder, a Kurdish lawmaker for Gorran (Change) in the Iraqi Parliament, stated on his official Facebook account that the Iraqi Council of Ministers held a meeting on Sunday, headed by Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.
Hayder mentioned that in the meeting, the draft budget bill for 2018 was discussed and approved by all ministers except the two Kurdish ministers present.
The KRG on the same day issued a lengthy statement criticizing the process behind the budget drafting and the reduction in the Kurdistan Region's share.
“The highest executive authority in Iraq does not respect the constitution, calls by the top Iraqi religious authority, and reject political dialogue,” he stated. “They reduce the budget share of the Kurdistan Region based on suspicious data, and altered the constitutionally-approved designation ‘Kurdistan Region’ to ‘northern Iraq’.”
He warned the Kurdish authorities to take serious measures and monitor Baghdad’s steps carefully.
“Proceeding with Iraq's plan and approach translates into the division the Kurdistan Region and dissolution of the KRG,” added Hayder, who is also a member of the Parliament’s finance committee.
“It is a strategy to change the Constitution of Iraq and removing articles that protect Kurdish rights. Removing the three provinces [Erbil, Sulaimani, and Duhok] from the framework of the Kurdistan Region would eliminate obstacles to amending the constitution,” the Kurdish lawmaker concluded.
Ties between Erbil and Baghdad have considerably deteriorated following the Kurdistan Region’s Sep. 25 independence referendum, which the central government labeled unconstitutional and illegal.
Although the KRG has offered to freeze the results of the referendum and begin a constructive dialogue with Baghdad, the Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi has rejected the offer and calls for full annulment of the independence vote which saw 93 percent voting in favor of secession from Iraq.
Editing by Nadia Riva