Iraqi Vice President: Kurdistan budget cuts designed to put pressure on Kurds

On March 13, Iraqi President Fuad Masum rejected the national budget bill, stating it violated segments of the Constitution of Iraq.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Vice President revealed that the President of Iraq’s decision to send back to Parliament the 2018 national federal budget for review was because it contained constitutional violations. 

Ayad Allawi, one of Iraq’s Vice President in an interview with al-Sumeriya on Saturday, said that the 2018 national budget approved by the parliament in Baghdad raised many concerns that it did not adhere to all principles of the Iraqi constitution.

Allawi, who is also head of largest Sunni bloc in parliament, stated that the Iraqi President respected the primacy of the constitution by returning the budget to parliament.

In early March, Iraq’s parliament approved the country’s controversial 2018 budget bill in the absence of Kurdish politicians who boycotted the session.

Baghdad reduced the Kurdistan Region’s share of the federal budget to roughly 12 percent, a significant drop from its previous 17 percent allocation, and did not allocate any budget for the Peshmerga forces, the primary reason for representatives from the Region to protest the bill.

The Iraqi Vice President added that during his premiership in early 2005, the Kurds were granted 17 percent of the budget for administrative reasons and to improve the Kurdistan Region’s infrastructure despite the constitution not yet having been approved yet back then.

Allawi argued that the amount allocated for the Kurdistan Region in the 2018 budget law was politically motivated and aimed at increasing pressure on the Region.

On March 13, Iraqi President Fuad Masum rejected the national budget bill, stating it violated segments of the Constitution of Iraq. 

“[Masum] decided to send back the national budget law for 2018, approved by the Council of Representatives on March 3, to Parliament to review it at the constitutional, legal, and financial levels,” the President’s office declared in a statement.

Editing by Nadia Riva