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Kurdish Lawmakers Boycott Iraqi Parliament's Session Over Budget

Kurdish lawmakers in the Iraqi parliament boycotted a session Wednesday (January 3) regarding the 2018 federal budget.

The Iraqi parliament was set to finish the second reading of the country's 2018 federal budget bill on Wednesday but the session was cancelled as it did not meet the parliament's quorum following the Kurds' boycott.

Parliament's Speaker Salim Jabouri invited the heads of the parliamentary factions to hold a private meeting on the federal budget draft law as well as the elections proposal.

Iraq's Council of Ministers completed and circulated the Iraqi federal 2018 budget bill in October. Kurds and Sunnis are concerned over the draft bill, saying there is imbalance in the distribution of the budget over all of the Iraqi provinces.

In early November 2017, the KRG Council of Ministers challenged the bill on a number of points. Their concerns were sent to the Iraq Council of Ministers.

Of specific concern is that Kurdistan Region's share in the proposal has been cut to 12.67 percent. Kurdish lawmakers call for the region's percent of the federal budget to remain at 17% as previously set based on populations estimates in 2005.

The Kurdistan Region has called on the Iraqi Parliament to not ratify the country's 2018 budget draft because it is "unilateral" [benefits Baghdad primarily] and is "unconstitutional" leaving out accurate references to Kurdistan's official name in the constitution.


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