Hundreds of Families Commemorate the 9th Anniversary of the 'Speicher Massacre' in Tikrit

Hundreds of Families Commemorate the 9th Anniversary of the 'Speicher Massacre' in Tikrit

Shafaq News/ In a scene reflective of the political ebbs and flow that often marks Iraqi legislative processes, key political factions are engaged in fierce discussions in a bid to reach consensus on the ambitious federal public budget project for the 2023-2025 fiscal years.

Insiders hinted at a potential breakthrough, suggesting that resolution on the remaining budget controversies might be resolved during the course of today's session, Saturday.

Since convening on Thursday, lawmakers have made substantive strides towards a shared fiscal plan, achieving consensus on 24 crucial items of the triennial federal budget law. However, the thorny issue of Kurdistan Region's financial entitlements proved contentious, prompting legislators to strategically delay voting on these specific items until broader agreement could be reached.

The ensuing deliberations within the corridors of the Iraqi legislative body have transformed the venue into an arena of fervent negotiations. The focal point of these discussions is an attempt to resolve points of contention within the federal budget law, following proposed amendments by the parliamentary financial committee in relation to Kurdistan Region's financial claims.

One of the main subjects of dispute is the language contained within Article 14, which concerns the Kurdistan Region. Independent Lawmaker Amir al-Maamouri emphasized the ongoing, fluid nature of the negotiations, stating that "the 'new version' of Article 14 is not the final formula. There are modifications made by the financial committee with other blocs, and there are modifications made during the voting as well."

Speaking to Shafaq News Agency, al-Maamouri expressed his aspiration for a resolution that will ultimately serve the greater public interest, asserting that all parties and entities should demonstrate a commitment to preserving public funds. The lawmaker suggested that any arising disputes should be arbitrated by the Federal Court.

Contrastingly, MP Suzan Ali Saleh, from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), indicated that "the 'original' Article 14 was approved by all the partners. The changes that were introduced later were not in the region's interest, raising serious concerns. It was decided not to pass it along with some other items until an agreement is reached."

Saleh, however, held hope for a constructive cooperation that would facilitate the passing of the budget, thereby achieving political and economic stability and the government program outlined by Prime Minister Mohammad Shia al-Sudani.

Independent MP, Hussein Arab, shed light on the complexities surrounding Article 14, emphasizing that the disagreements involve both "technical and legal" aspects.

The contested issues range from setting conditions for oil exports and mechanisms for calculating transportation costs, to procedural matters such as opening a bank account.

Arab predicted the resolution and passing of the contentious Article 14 today, mirroring previous agreements on other items. He noted, however, that "Article 14 is not the only one under dispute. There are also Articles 15 and 16, and we hope to reach a middle ground solution and vote on the entire budget today."

Expressing confidence in today's proceedings, MP Firas Al-Muslimawi, from the State of Law Bloc, confirmed that "the Parliament will complete the voting in its session scheduled at five o'clock this evening, on the remaining budget items," firmly dismissing suggestions of any significant opposition to this legislative course.

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