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Government and PoliticsChanges to draft budget for Iraq prompt Kurdistan region to protest

Changes to draft budget for Iraq prompt Kurdistan region to protest



The opposition to the regional government represents a challenge for Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani in approving a three-year budget, a policy that characterizes his government, which came to power late last year with the support of a coalition of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurdish parties.

The Kurdish government has declared that it will not respect any decision other than the agreement signed with Al-Sudani.

Before Al-Sudani formed his government, he had an agreement with the Kurdistan Democratic Party, which controls the government of Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region in northern Iraq.

The agreement included, according to three Kurdish officials, the end of a long-running dispute over financial transfers to Erbil and the sharing of oil revenues between the federal government and the regional government.

Under Iraq’s constitution, the Kurdistan region is entitled to receive part of the national budget, but the deal fell apart in 2014 when the Kurds began selling crude oil independently.

In 2017, Iraqi forces recaptured disputed territory, including the oil city of Kirkuk, and Baghdad resumed transferring some budget payments, albeit at a sporadic pace.

The KRG called the changes to the budget bill, which were made by some members of the Parliament’s Finance Committee, unconstitutional and “not in accordance with the agreement signed between the KRG and the federal government”.

Last March, the Sudanese government approved the Finance Bill 2023, worth 197.8 trillion Iraqi dinars ($135.6 billion).

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