November 1, 2017
Mr. Haidar Abadi, Iraq’s Prime Minister, stressed that the Kurdistan Region’s people are full citizens and that he will not cause them harm. Moreover, he expressed the federal government’s readiness to pay the salary of public servants in the Kurdistan Region.
The KRG Council of Ministers welcomes the initiative from Mr. Abadi to pay the salaries of the Kurdistan Region’s civil servants. The KRG has 1,249,481 persons on this payroll, which amounts to 897,500,000,000 Iraqi dinars, based monthly on the biometrics of all KRG civil servants, as shown below:
- 108,000,000,000 dinars for the salaries of 244,656 pensioners.
- 38,500,000,000 dinars for families of martyrs and Anfal victims.
- 30,000,000,000 dinars for salaries of people with special needs, and social welfare.
- 455,000,000,000 dinars for salaries of civil servants, police included.
- 266,000,000,000 dinars for salaries of Peshmarga and security forces.
The KRG Council of Ministers also asks the Iraqi Federal Council of Ministers not to approve the Iraqi budget bill for 2018 which has been prepared by the federal Minister of Finance without involving the Kurdistan Region.
- For the first time since 2003 the proposal term “Kurdistan Region-Iraq” has been removed and instead of that the term “the provinces of the Kurdistan region” has been used. This is a clear violation of the first paragraph of article 117 and the first paragraph of article 121 of the constitution, which recognizes the Kurdistan Region’s authorities as a federal entity and which also recognizes the right of the Kurdistan Region itself – rather than just provinces – to govern the legislative, executive, and judicial rights.
- The proposal cuts Kurdistan’s share from its entitled 17 percent for the first time since 2005 down to 12 percent, which is a violation of paragraph 3 of article 121 of the constitution which states that the federal government must allocate a just proportion of the federal income to the Kurdistan region, taking into consideration the region’s population. Since there has been no census in Iraq, both parties have agreed that the region’s population constitutes 17 percent of the Iraqi population. According to this principle, the constitution allocates this percentage of the Iraqi budget bill to the Kurdistan Region. However, the Kurdistan Region has never received this percentage in practice, due to increases in Iraqi sovereign expenditures, and furthermore the Kurdistan Region has never had a role or a share in receiving these expenditures. As such, cutting down the Kurdistan Region’s share has no constitutional basis and is beyond the mutual agreements.
- Giving direct authorities to the Kurdistan Region’s provinces in the federal budget bill and dealing with the Kurdistan Region’s provinces as provinces rather than one region is contradictory to paragraph 1 of article 117 and paragraph 1 of article 121 of the constitution, as it deals with the Kurdistan Region as any other Iraqi governorate rather than as a federal region recognized in the constitution, which is a constitutional violation.
- Paragraph 4 of Article 126 of the constitution does not allow for constitutional powers of the Kurdistan region to be decreased or limited by the federal authorities. The constitution does not even allow any amendments that decrease the Kurdistan Region’s authorities.
- Even though some shortcomings of the previous years are repeated in the federal budget bill for 2018, the aforementioned unconstitutional measures have still been added to it.
In light of the aforementioned articles in the constitution, and considering that PM Abadi in particular always refers to the sovereignty of the Iraqi constitution and avoiding harming the citizens of the Kurdistan Region, we ask the Iraqi federal Council of Ministers to enable negotiation with the Kurdistan Region’s Council of Ministers in order to re-draft the federal budgetary law pursuant to the constitution and to provide a fair share to the Kurdistan region.