ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdish blocs in the Iraqi Parliament on Tuesday said they would continue to boycott Parliament session’s regarding a budget bill which proposes a decrease in the Kurdistan Region’s share of the national budget.
During a press conference following a walk-out from Parliament, lawmakers from the various Kurdish parties said they prevented a quorum after an “illegal” session was held and the budget bill, not on the original agenda, was discussed and could be voted on.
Kurdish MP Muthanna Amin said the Presidency of the Iraqi Parliament had adopted the “wrong approach” by ignoring concerns about the budget bill which have been brought forward by the Kurdish blocs as well as Sunni parties.
According to an initial draft, the proposed budget bill for 2018 shows a decrease in Kurdistan’s share of the national budget.
The Kurdistan Region was previously allocated 17 percent—which senior Kurdish officials say was never sent—but according to the new bill, the Region’s share would shrink to 12 percent.
Another Kurdish MP, Aseem Abdullah, said his colleagues in Baghdad were united and would stage future boycotts if their demands regarding the bill were not met, especially on matters of allocation.
“We assure the people of Kurdistan that all of the Kurdish blocs have a consistent and unified position which rejects the budget bill,” he stated during the press conference.
All five of the Kurdish parties in the Iraqi Parliament—the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Change Movement (Gorran), Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), and Komal—staged the boycott together.
If the budget bill is passed without the implementation of their concerns, Abdullah said the MPs would file a lawsuit with the Federal Court to challenge the budget.
The controversy surrounding the proposed legislation stems from the ongoing disputes between Erbil and Baghdad following the Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum last year.