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Kurds mull political boycott of Iraq after approval of divisive budget

Iraqi Parliament .File photo.


Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) Kurdistan politicians are considering a total withdrawal from the Iraqi political arena after the Iraqi parliament approved the 2018 with a reduced share for the autonomous region.

Sputnik quoted Shakhwan Abdullah, a parliament member of the Kurdish Alliance, saying that following the passing of the budget, several options were discussed, including a withdrawal from the political process.

He said Kurdish MPs have acquired a conviction it was useless to maintain their political representation in Baghdad, adding that the alliance considers a request to the region’s presidency to order a withdrawal from the Iraqi presidency, the cabinet and the parliament.

On Saturday, the Iraqi parliament passed, after several postponements, the country’s 2018 budget. The move came amid boycott from Kurdish representatives in protest at the reduction of Kurdistan’s share from 17% to nearly 12%.The budget is worth USD88 billion, with a projected deficit of USD10.58 billion.

Relations between Baghdad and Erbil deteriorated following Kurdistan’s vote on independence from Iraq in a popular referendum in September. With Baghdad taking penal measures against the region in response, Erbil demanded the payment of delayed employee salaries.

Baghdad has also accused Erbil of corruption in handling oil exports from fields under the region’s control, suggesting revenues could be sufficient to fulfill its expenses, a suggestion rebuffed by Erbil.


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