The Kurdistan Region Presidency (KRP) issued a statement on Sunday on the Iraqi Council of Ministers’ approval of a draft federal hydrocarbons law. The following is a translation from the original Arabic:
Following six years without a federal oil policy; the unjustified failure to implement political agreements; the clear avoidance of the ratification of a federal hydrocarbons law; and following the emphasis on maintaining consensus as a main prerequisite for the Kurdistan Alliance’s participation in the government (which had been agreed upon before the formation of the current Iraqi government): Following this, we are now surprised by the actions of the Council of Ministers in passing a draft that is contrary to all that has been agreed with respect to the hydrocarbons law (and passed in the absence of the most of the concerned members of the Council of the Ministers).
The proposed draft was passed to the Cabinet by the Ministry of Oil, which called for its urgent consideration just one day before the session convened. Thus a document of more than 50 pages was presented in only a few minutes, and those present thought that it was a draft that had already been agreed upon. This was aimed at both fooling the all members of the Council of Ministers (both those present and absent) and at disregarding political agreements. It is a breach of trust conducted in an authoritarian manner that is designed to impose a centralised method and to consolidate dictatorial economic decision-making and place the reins of all in the hands of a few. More importantly, it has nothing to do with the federal constitution and its democratic practices, which include the responsibilities and the rights of the regions and the governorates in maintaining a balance with the responsibilities of the federal government. This is also stated in the Constitution, in order to ensure the rights of the Iraqi people, their unity and future.
The Presidency of the Kurdistan Region condemns this manoeuvre and calls on the Council of Ministers to withdraw the Oil Ministry’s draft immediately, because it contradicts the Constitution and the legislative path within the Council of Ministers. We call on the presidency of the Council of Representatives [Parliament] to reject the draft submitted by the Council of Ministers and to continue with the current legislative path, taking into consideration any proposed amendments by all parties, including the reservations of the Kurdistan Alliance at the first reading by the parliamentary Oil and Energy Committee. The Kurdistan Alliance will present its proposals at the amendment stage when it reaches the second reading, based on our commitment to the legal and constitutional path and to the continuation of our work for the public good.