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Iraq’s 2019 Budget Leads to Political Crisis

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Iraq’s 2019 Budget Leads to Political Crisis Empty Iraq’s 2019 Budget Leads to Political Crisis

Post by GirlBye on Sat Nov 03, 2018 4:58 pm

Iraq’s 2019 Budget Leads to Political Crisis 650109-01-02

Iraq's parliament during its first session on September 3, 2018. (AFP)

The head of Qarar Alliance, Osama al-Nujaifi, threatened to resort to the Federal Court to restore Nineveh province’s right in the federal budget for 2019. Meanwhile, member of Nasr Coalition, MP Khaled al-Obaidi, revealed a shocking number of the province’s budget allocation.

In a statement, Nujaifi confirmed his intention to resort to the Federal Court, asserting he would work to address the injustice in Nineveh’s share of the federal budget.

"I call on all Nineveh deputies for solidarity to seize this constitutional right," he said.

Obaidi, who leads in Nineveh Nasr coalition headed by former Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, said that now that the parliament received the draft budget for the fiscal year 2019, it was confirmed that the total operational and investment amounts allocated to Nineveh do not reflect in any form the real entitlement of this province.

He explained that Nineveh is the second largest Iraqi province in terms of population, the most affected by the terrorist operations, and has the largest number of displaced citizens.

The MP expressed his surprise at the unfair allocations of Nineveh while rejecting injustice to any Iraqi province. He called on the parliament to return the budget bill to the government to ensure justice is achieved to all provinces.

"Nineveh's budget is not enough to sustain the services in the province, let alone any reconstruction," the former governor of Nineveh, Atheel al-Nujaifi, told Asharq Al-Awsat.

He asserted that Nineveh’s budget was the least amount compared to years preceding ISIS, adding that it is not enough to build a bridge, a hospital, or even small projects.

Nujaifi explained that the regular share of Nineveh before including the additions required for reconstruction is 10.6 percent of the Iraqi budget after cutting the sovereign expenses, however, the province received a little under 0.5 percent of the budget after the deduction from sovereign funds.

MP Majida al-Tamimi of the Saeroon coalition called on the government to send the 2019 budget, accompanied by six-year closing accounts for the period 2012-2017, to the parliament to determine how ministries and other institutions committed to the budget law and its instructions.

In a statement, of which Asharq al-Awsat received a copy, Tamimi indicated that the final closing account the parliament received was of the year 2011, stressing that it is important to send a separate report on the reservations of the Board of Supreme Audit on the accounts of 2005 – 2011, which were already approved by the parliament in its third term.

Former MP Shawan Daoudi, and leader at Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), told Asharq al-Awsat that the problem is that political will in Iraq is above the constitution and the law, so the talk about the percentage allocated to the Kurds is mere ink on paper.

"The 17 percent was in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 budgets, but employees in the Kurdistan region were without salaries," he said, adding that any discussion of the budget outside the political consensus was just a waste of time.
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