State Forces coalition takes over budget bill, MPs demand passage

State Forces coalition takes over budget bill, MPs demand passage

Shafaq News / The Coalition of State Forces has assumed control of the federal budget bill, while members of the Parliament have submitted signatures to the Council Presidency, urging the scheduling of a session for the passage of the law, which has been stalled for six months, during the current week.

In a statement, Ali Al-Bandawi, a deputy of the Coalition of State Forces, said, "the draft of the budget bill has reached the coalition, where it will be studied and the contentious points with the Kurdistan Region discussed."

He added, "We have not been informed of the date for presenting the budget to the Parliament yet. The fundamental dispute that arises with each budget is with the region. The budget file is expected to be completed during this week or the following week at the latest."

On his part, Yasser Al-Maliki, a deputy of the State of Law Coalition, confirmed in a tweet that, "after intensive efforts, the signatures of the State of Law Coalition deputies have been collected to set the voting session on the budget within the next two days."

Shafaq News Agency obtained a document showing the signatures of 16 deputies requesting the convening of a special session to vote on the general budget during the current week. The independent deputy, Hadi Al-Salami, leads the signature campaign.

The Iraqi 2023 financial budget bill remains stagnant, entering its sixth month of the current year. Despite the Parliamentary Finance Committee finalizing the majority of budget articles and the announcement by the Parliament of its scheduling for approval last Saturday, an urgent dispute over some of its provisions has led to the postponement of the voting process to a later date.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Islamic Union of Kurdistan withdrew from the Parliamentary Finance Committee meetings last Thursday in protest against the amendments made to Articles 13 and 14 of the budget law. The Kurdistan Democratic Party considered this a violation of the political agreements that led to the formation of the "State Administration" alliance and the current government led by Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani.

The Parliamentary Finance Committee voted on several amendments related to the Kurdistan Region, including an amendment to Article 13, section 2(a), which initially stipulated the commitment of the Kurdistan Region to export no less than 400,000 barrels of oil per day. However, after the amendment, this paragraph now states that the region shall deliver the crude oil produced in its fields, at a rate of no less than 400,000 barrels per day, to the Ministry of Oil for exportation through the state-owned SOMO company or for domestic use in Iraqi refineries.

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