Posted on August 18, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Corruption, Politics
Kurdish MP in Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament Soran Omar (R) and Ali Hama Salih. Photo: NRT
SULAIMANI, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— Four of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s main political parties have promised to take action against corruption in the region, two members of Kurdistan’s Parliament said on Wednesday.
Lawmakers Ali Hama Salih from the Change Movement (Gorran) and Soran Omer from the Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG) said in a post to Facebook they have given files on corruption to the four major political parties, with the exception of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), in order to take action.
“We have met with leaders from four parties [the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Gorran, the Kurdistan Islamic Union [KIU] and the KIG],” the lawmakers said. “They are concerned over the documents and files on corruption and have promised to take action and show their stance.”
According to the lawmakers, they have gathered and investigated a number of documents related to corruption in the Kurdistan Region.
The MPs said in the statement posted to Facebook that the government has contributed to hunger in the region, in the cut to salaries, the lack of services and the enrichment of officials as well as sending money abroad. The lawmakers stated it is now time to “take action and a stance.”
Members of Kurdistan’s parliament have claimed that millions of dollars have gone missing in the region. They have also accused the natural resources minister, Ashti Hawrami, of being responsible for the loss. However, the natural resources ministry denied the accusation, calling it untrue.
The Kurdish opposition politicians say billions of dollars are missing from oil export revenue. Kurdish MP Ali Hama Salih said last April $1.107 billion from Iraqi Kurdistan oil revenue missing in 1st Quarter of 2016.
Despite of the MPs’ concern over corruption, a number of officials were detained by an order of the Commission of Integrity accused of corruption, misuse of power and mismanagement of public funds in the city of Duhok on April 26.
Kurdish security forces detained a number of officials accused of corruption, misuse of power and mismanagement of public funds in the city of Duhok on April 26, but they were released on bail a day later.
Though officials have been arrested in relation to corruption, no charges have been taken by the region’s courts against the officials.
Until now no one has been sentenced over corruption in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Massoud Barzani has been accused by critics of amassing huge wealth for his family instead of serving the population. Barzani’s son is the Kurdistan region’s intelligence chief and his nephew Nechirvan Barzani is the prime minister.
Both ruling families of Barzani and Talabani control a large number of commercial enterprises in Iraqi Kurdistan and involvement in the oil business, with a gross value of several billion US dollars, according to observers.