KRP Statement on Federal Hydrocarbons Law

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.

(Source: KRG)

One Response to KRP Statement on Federal Hydrocarbons Law

  1. Ahmed Mousa Jiyad 8th September 2011 at 05:34 #

    Once again KRG oil demands are easier set than met

    In a previous comment posted on 15 Dec 2010 I wrote, “KRG oil demands are easier set than met.”

    The reasons then and still are related to many critical issues that ought to be addressed, important questions to be answered, and the politics of fait accompli pursuit by both federal and KRG could make streamlining and harmonisation daunting tasks.

    Now KRG support the proposed draft of the law by oil and energy committee-OEC of the parliament, which has been opposed widely, condemned and discredited because this particular draft contravenes the essence of the constitution.
    But KRG came against the proposed draft by the Cabinet, which itself suffers from major flaws as I outlined in my comment posted on 30 Aug 2011

    KRG opposition is for self-serving purposes as all KRG concluded contracts contravene all basic principles of the constitution. No wonder that KRG and few members of OEC and parliamentarians (mostly KRG representatives) are in agreement.

    I had earlier made thorough assessments of the two drafts of the law (by OEC and by the Ministry of Oil/approved by the council of Ministers-CoM ) and these assessment was circulated widely and posted on many websites. Though generally the version proposed by the government is better and more balanced than that proposed by OEC/Parliament, I believe both versions are not adequate and would not lead to well developed petroleum sector, as I argued in my two assessments of the drafts.

    The basic question remains what type of oil law is needed? Will the law be tailor-made to current political order or a unified supreme document to provide needed legal stability, predictability and governance commensurate with development of the petroleum sector in the entire country, inclusive KR?
    The Law, within the ‘package’ or outside it, should be clear, well phrased, coherent and consistent to the extent that it put an end to the different interpretation of the related clauses and provisions of the constitution. It is vital that the new FOGL upholds the two core principles of collective ownership and best interests of the Iraqi people enshrined in the constitution.
    If on the hand compromises, political horse-trading, muhasasa politics of keeping the ‘herds together’, maintaining the fait accompli status quo, all could create, once again, a conditions of stalemate thus preventing the passage of viable, predictable and coherent oil law. Experience tells us, law in Iraq, more often than not, is politics in disguise. Are we back to square one: February 2007.

    Ahmed Mousa Jiyad,
    Iraq/ Development Consultancy and Research,
    [email protected]
    8 Sept 2011