[ltr]2023.06.03 - 11:25[/ltr]
Baghdad - Nas
Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani finds himself unable to achieve any progress in many vital files for his government, due to political differences between the State Administration Coalition, and the efforts of some forces within the coordination framework to obstruct any achievement that may be attributed to al-Sudani.
Perhaps the most important of these files, which Al-Sudani was betting on dismantling its contract within a deadline not exceeding last month, is Parliament’s approval of the federal budget, and amendments to his ministerial team, in addition to amendments related to a number of advisors and governors, after the end of the evaluation deadline that he presented last December.
The plans of the Iraqi prime minister collided with obstruction, some say that they were deliberate to prevent success, especially since some members of the coordination framework, led by the leader of the State of Law coalition, Nuri al-Maliki, view him as a future threat to their influence within the Shiite arena, after he showed a reformist spirit. It would bring him closer to the street.
Iraq's federal budget, which targets the current year and 2024 and 2025, was supposed to be approved no later than the end of May, but disagreements surfaced at the last moment regarding the Kurds' share, which led to the postponement of Parliament's approval of it.
Observers say that the amendments made by the Parliamentary Finance Committee, according to which the coup was made against a previous agreement that took place between Baghdad and Erbil, regarding the salaries of employees in the region and how to dispose of Kurdistan’s oil revenues, were politically intended and aimed at stopping the current positive liquidity between the federal government and the Kurdistan government. Observers point out that the most important goal is to embarrass Al-Sudani and paralyze his government plans and development projects that he aspires to accomplish.
The agreement between the governments of Kurdistan and Baghdad stipulated that the region export 400,000 barrels per day through the Iraqi Oil Marketing Company (SOMO), provided that the revenues of these quantities of oil are placed in a bank in Iraqi Kurdistan, where one person has the right to dispose of it, and he is the head of the regional government. Under the supervision of a joint committee of the federal government and the Kurdistan government.
But the recent amendments introduced by the Finance Committee stipulated first that that share of the oil be produced and not exported, and also stressed that the funds be deposited in an account in the Central Bank, and the Ministry of Finance in the federal government allows the President of Kurdistan or whoever authorizes him to take the entitlements of the region. Among the other amendments, which also contradict the political agreement that was signed between the forces of the State Administration Coalition, is to oblige the regional government to pay part of the salaries due to Kurdistan employees.
These amendments angered the Kurdish forces, who were quick to announce their rejection, considering that the changes are a coup against all the agreements that took place with Baghdad. Leaders in the Kurdistan Democratic Party, which administers the region, accused some political forces from within the framework of making these amendments in order to obstruct the passage of the budget, thus thwarting the Sudanese mission.
The situation is not much different with regard to the file of government amendments, as it was supposed to be resolved before the end of May, but nothing was achieved, and observers say that the matter has to do with the refusal of some forces in the framework, especially al-Maliki, to make these changes.
Al-Sudani's insistence on making amendments concerning the cabinet and a number of governors had sparked tension between him and the leader of the State of Law Coalition, who believes that this step is currently meaningless, calling for not rushing into it, which was strongly rejected by Al-Sudani.
And the Iraqi Prime Minister said during a television interview, on one of the local channels, that “the ministerial change is not subject to desire and mood. I will not compliment a leader or a party, and when there are indications of a minister, I will submit to Parliament a request to dismiss him, and whoever refuses, let him refuse,” as it seemed, referring to the leader of the State of Law coalition.
It is noteworthy that Al-Sudani was not satisfied with the ministerial composition that was announced last October, as there are a number of names that were imposed on him by force by forces within the coordination framework. In an attempt by him to review these names, Al-Sudani announced last December a period ranging from three to six months to assess the ministers and officials in his government, and to indicate the extent of their commitment to implementing the provisions of the government platform.
On the 18th of last April, the Iraqi Prime Minister made a statement during a meeting with a group of journalists, in which he said, “We set six months for a real evaluation according to professional standards, and in light of it it is determined whether the minister will remain in the government or not, and we were given a period of three months, which is sufficient for general managers and their performance, and sufficient Because the minister knows his tools and evaluates their performance.
Al-Sudani pointed out that "some partners (political blocs) believe that partnership means that the prime minister does not take a decision in accordance with his powers except with the advice and participation of the political forces present in the coalition, and this is not true, because there are exclusive powers and preserving them is part of political reform." Observers believe that al-Sudani, who escalated his rhetoric at one point before he was forced to back down and seeks to accommodate al-Maliki through visits to the latter's headquarters, is now convinced that he can only move within a narrow space determined by the latter.
Observers point out that Al-Sudani, who was hoping to enter a dynamism in government work, and carry out reforms that count for him in his balance, finds himself today shackled, and that the options available to him are to follow Maliki’s pattern or to resign, and in both cases he will be the loser. Al-Sudani's government was formed a year after a political crisis in Iraq, and it would have caused an armed clash between the Shiite factions, had it not been for the Sadrist movement's decision to withdraw from the political process.
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