Iraqi President sues parliament speaker over budget violations

Iraqi President of the Republic Fuad Masum

Baghdad ( Iraq’s president filed a lawsuit against the chief of the country’s parliament over what he believes are legal and constitutional violations in the recently approved 2018 federal budget.

The petition, filed before Iraq’s supreme federal court, cites 14 violations, among which are those related to the allocations set for the autonomous Kurdistan Region, which, according to the president, were at odds with the constitutional stipulation to set a “fair” share for the region.

Another point referred to by the president was one which, he suggests, encroaches on the authority of the Kurdish government and parliament in regard to running the financial affairs of Kurdish provinces.

Iraq on Tuesday gave its final confirmation of its divisive 2018 budget by publishing it in the official gazette, as announced by the country’s justice ministry.

The ministry said the newest issue of the official gazette includes the federal budget for 2018.

Masum ordered last Thursday to officially publish the budget, ending weeks of political grappling over the document.

Last month, Masum, a leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, rejected the budget bill, and ordered it back to the parliament, citing several  constitutional and legal violations in the document.

The Iraqi parliament voted in favor of the USD88 billion draft on March 3rd amid a boycott from Kurdistan Region representatives who objected to reducing the region’s share of allocations from 17% to slightly above 12%.

Relations between Kurdistan and the Iraqi government deteriorated after a referendum Kurdistan held in September, in which a majority voted for secession from Iraq.


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