KT news briefing, 7th March 2014

Maliki-Barzani accusations back in local media headlines

Barzani and Maliki

Barzani and Al Maliki

Al Maliki: “KRG wants to keep oil revenue in Barzani’s account”

Barzani: “Our reaction to Baghdad will be unexpected”

Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri Al Maliki, said that Baghdad has agreed to pay the costs of the oil exploration of foreign companies in Kurdistan, but that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) should export its oil products through federal government channels. PM Maliki also said that in the meetings with the KRG delegation in recent weeks to try and the resolve outstanding issues, it had been mentioned that the KRG would export oil to the international market independently and keep the revenue in a bank account over which only President Masoud Barzani would have the authority to conduct any transactions. PM Maliki also said that the KRG’s actions would encourage other provinces to violate the Iraqi constitution and weaken the ability of the federal government to run the country.  In a response to PM Maliki’s speech, Barzani  warned Baghdad that, if the financial pressure on Kurdistan continues, the Kurdistan Region will be making an “unexpected” response. Barzani also stressed that the Kurdistan region will not step back.

Sources: NRT, Aswat Al Iraq, Sbeiy

Gorran MP: “Efforts to form the KRG’s new cabinet have reached a dead end”

168 days have passed since the Kurdistan parliamentary election on September 21, 2013, but the KRG’s new cabinet has not been formed yet. Yusif Muhammed, a Gorran Movement MP said that process of forming the KRG’s new cabinet has reached a dead end. Yusif has said that Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) is responsible for the delay as the biggest parliamentary bloc which has responsibility to form the new cabinet.  The MP, who is expected to be Gorran’s candidate for the post of Parliament Speaker, said that more delays are unacceptable to the people and may lead to more crisis and that Gorran may decide  to remain as an opposition bloc.

Source: Awene News

IHEC: Voter card distribution is low

The Independent High Electoral Commission of Iraq (IHEC) announced that in number of the provinces the people’s response to its voter registration drive is very low. The overall distribution of voter cards is below 55 percent and, in those provinces that have severe security issues, the rate is below 50 percent. According to IHEC’s new regulations, voters will not be able to vote during the national election in April 2014 without holding a voter’s card.  According to the IHEC’s data, the people’s response in the Kurdistan Region is 56 percent.

Source: IHEC announcement

Religious leaders: Kurdistan independence is legitimate

In a press conference in Erbil on March 5, 2104 number of Islamic religious leaders in Kurdistan stated that, in accordance with Islamic laws and regulations, establishing an independent state for Kurdistan is legitimate and supported by the Quran. The religious leaders encouraged Kurdish political leaders to proceed toward independence as coexistence with other parts of Iraq has become impossible.

Sarkawt Shams collated this briefing

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