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23. May 2023 20:51
More on Komal: Earlier this month, Bapir announced the resignation of the party's deputies at multiple levels of government in the Kurdistan Region en masse citing intentions to "ensure" that fresh elections are held on time, as there was no guarantee they would be.
And yesterday, following the drama in parliament, Komal expressed concern over the tensions and condemned "any effort which aims at undermining the national institutions and force people towards hopelessness."
23. May 2023 20:39
Ali Bapir, leader of the Kurdistan Justice Party (Komal), has issued a warning that "undermining the dignity" of the institutions of the Kurdistan Region could weaken the Region itself. He urges adherence to "established principles and laws."
In a strong statement, Bapir insists that no political party should perceive it has proprietary control over the parliament or government. This is a clear reference to the KDP's stronghold over the institutions of the Kurdistan Region.
Here is the full statement:
The present situation in the Kurdistan Region and a few warnings for all concerned:
1- Undermining the dignity of the institutions of the Kurdistan Region is a key factor leading to the Region's collapse and loss of credibility. Mere slogans without action serve no one and solve nothing.
2- To ensure the survival and continuity of the Kurdistan Region, we all must uphold the principles and laws. No party should view the parliament and government as their exclusive property. In reality, the Region and its institutions belong to all people.
3- Forcing a particular situation upon the Kurdistan Region contradicts the principles of solidarity, coexistence, national reconciliation, and mutual respect, and will not yield any beneficial outcomes.
4- Consequently, let's take lessons from our past mistakes and the deficient manner of governing our country, and avoid further embarrassment. Apart from reaching a national agreement and consensus on the election method, revising its law, and reactivating the commission, we have no other choice. Remember, if anyone is discontented with justice, they will be far more perturbed by oppression and coercion.
دۆخی ئێستای ههرێم و چهند هۆشدارییهك بۆ ههموو لایهك
1- شكاندنی شكۆی دامهزراوهكانی ههرێمی كوردستان، هۆكاری پووكانهوهی ههرێم و بێ ئیعتیباركردنیهتی و، شیعاری بێ كرداریش دادی كهس نادات و، هیچ دهردێك چارهسهر ناكات.
2- پێویسته بۆ مانهوه و بهردهوامیی ههرێم، ههموومان پابهندی پڕهنسیپ و یاسایهكان بین و، هیچ لایهنێك پهڕلهمان و حكوومهت به هی خۆی و حیزبهكهی نهزانێ، چونكه له ئهسڵدا ههرێم و دامهزراوهكانی هی ههموو خهڵكین.
3- سهپاندنی دۆخێكی تایبهت بهسهر ههرێمدا، دژی بنهمایهكانی تهبایی و پێكهوه ژیان و، سازانی نیشتمانیی و، ڕێز لهیهكدی گرتنهو، هیچ بهرههمێكی چاكی لێ ناچنرێتهوه.
4- كهواته: با عیبڕهت و پهند له ههڵهكانی ڕابردوومان و شێوهی ئیدارهدانی خراپی وڵاتمان وهربگرین و، چیدی خۆمان ئیحڕاجی ئهملاولا نهكهین و، بزانین كه بهبێ ڕێككهوتن و سازانی نیشتمانیی، لهسهر چۆنیهتیی ههڵبژاردن و، ههمواركردنی یاسایهكهی و، كاراكردنهوهی كۆمیسیۆن، كه هیچ گومانێك ههڵنهگرێ، هیچ چارهیهكی دیكهمان نیه و، گوتراویشه : (ومن ضاق به العدل فالجور علیه أضیق)، ههركهس به دادگهریی سهغڵهت ببێ، بهستهم و زۆر سهغڵهتتر دهبێ.
3 ذي القعدة 144 ك
23. May 2023 20:19
YBS reports that one 'guest' was killed and one of its members was injured in a Turkish drone attack today, which targeted one of its guesthouses in Khalef village. This village is located in the Snune subdistrict of Sinjar.
In a statement, YBS declared: 'This morning, Turkish drones bombed our guesthouse, resulting in the death of one of our guests and the injury of one of our comrades. The deceased guest was Sayed Ishura from Khanasur.'
Khanasur, which is located in Sinjar, was bombed on May 16.
23. May 2023 19:52
Makhmour Camp remains surrounded; three leftist parties urge 'UN intervention'
Iraqi forces continue their deployment around the Makhmour Refugee Camp, where they are constructing security towers and exerting control over resident movements.
We asked Rizgar Kochar, an NRT Kurdish reporter who has been at the scene this week, to provide an update on the recent developments at the camp. He reported that security forces remain deployed, and Iraqi forces are planning to erect four tall security towers to enhance surveillance capabilities.
These towers will be under the control of Iraqi forces, enabling them to monitor the movements of any militants in the area, irrespective of their affiliation with the PKK or other groups. In addition, thermal cameras will be installed around the camp to provide comprehensive surveillance and address potential security issues. Only one gate will be designated for the movement of camp residents.
Meanwhile, in Sulaymaniyah, three leftist parties are calling on the United Nations to protect the Makhmour Refugee Camp. Representatives from the Democratic Movement of the Kurdistan Nation, Toilers Party of Kurdistan, and the Communist Party of Kurdistan visited the Iraqi Parliament office in Sulaymaniyah to voice their concerns. They pointed out what they call the irony of a UN-supervised Refugee Camp now under siege by Iraqi forces, suffering repeated attacks from Turkish forces.
Recalling the conflict with ISIS, they highlighted how camp residents bravely resisted the terrorist group, protecting their fellow citizens from the threat of "genocide". These parties passionately appealed to the UN to take immediate action to "safeguard the camp and its residents".
In response to these events, the KCK, an umbrella organization for the PKK, released a statement yesterday. They advocated for the Iraqi state to address current issues through dialogue rather than resort to military force, sieges, and pressure. They stressed that Makhmour Refugee Camp residents have no quarrels with the Iraqi state. Moreover, they called for the intervention of international organizations, especially the UN, urging them to fulfill their obligations against Turkish impositions. The KCK insisted that both the Iraqi state and the UN should responsibly address problems concerning the Makhmour camp, without escalating tensions or igniting conflict.
How it started
Thousands of refugees awoke on Saturday morning to find the Makhmour Refugee Camp, located approximately 70 kilometers southwest of Erbil, unexpectedly encircled by an Iraqi military blockade. The camp, often described as a security vacuum situated between Erbil and Baghdad, fell out of Iraqi army control during the Islamic State's surge across Iraq. Due to its links with the PKK, Turkey has justified aerial operations targeting the group's bases within the camp.
A senior security official, who wished to remain anonymous, told AFP, "The army plans to establish a perimeter fence with a single entrance to secure the camp." The goal is to "regulate the movements" of the residents and to address the "security issues" arising from the presence of "PKK families" in the camp.
Following these measures, the camp's residents have protested against the army's plans, and these demonstrations continue, according to Roj News, a media outlet affiliated with the PKK.
For further information on the developments, check out our report by Dilan Sirwan.
23. May 2023 19:48
It appears that the KDP and PUK are using their respective official institutions in a struggle for the legitimacy of a recent session of the Kurdistan Parliament.
The Chronicle of Kurdistan, published by the Minister of Justice and responsible for disseminating the Parliament and Government's laws and regulations, published the text of the 10th Law of 2023 of the Kurdistan Parliament. This specific law relates to the reactivation and continuation of the Commissioners of the Kurdistan Electoral Commission.
A photo of the Chronicle of Kurdistan's cover can be found on the official Facebook page of the Minister of Justice, promoting the publication. The current Minister of Justice is Farsat Ahmed Abdulla (KDP).
In a similar move, Rewaz Faeq (PUK), speaker of the Kurdistan parliament, sent an official letter to the Kurdistan Electoral Commission refuting the legitimacy of yesterday's session of the Kurdistan Parliament.
23. May 2023 17:16
The US urges "continued collaboration between the parties at all levels so that elections can proceed without further delay."
This comment marks the first from the foreign representation of a major KRG ally.
The statement additionally calls for resolving political differences through dialogue. However, it comes with a caveat: there should be no more "further delays".
Given the months-long standoff between the PUK and KDP over electoral reforms—demanded by the PUK and resisted by the KDP—it appears there's some mutual exclusivity in these demands. We're already well into the six-month lead time that the electoral commission says it needs to conduct an election.* Thus, either there's further agreement through dialogue, which would require more time, or the election isn't delayed, and preparation begins immediately based on yesterday's farcical and almost-certainly illegal "vote" in parliament to reactivate the electoral commission.
This statement follows a meeting between the Assistant Consul General and the Deputy KRG Prime Minister. However, it is the premier's party that needs to heed this message.
It seems that the US's primary focus is on avoiding delays, prioritizing this over the PUK's demands for the reforming the electoral system.
* Though, under robust interrogation by Rudaw's Shahyan Tahseen last night, the head of the commision admitted they could manage faster
Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid is fine and dandy, according to photos and videos shared on his Twitter account and a statement issued on his website, dismissing media reports that he had suffered a fall.
"Some mass media and social media sites have circulated false news about President Rashid getting injured while descending the stairs of a plane," reads the press clarification.
"The President's Office confirms that this news is untrue and unfounded, affirming that His Excellency President Rashid is completely healthy and discharging his duties as usual."
The statement further mentioned that the President will initiate legal procedures, stating, "those behind these false news reports and unfounded allegations must be held accountable."
It added that the goal of these outlets and social media accounts is "to mislead Iraqi public opinion and destabilize state institutions."
The 78-year-old leader has been teased on several occasions for diplomatic faux pas, such as walking beside the red carpet instead of on it.
KRG Ministry of Finance issues decree to centralize revenue
The Minister of Finance, Awat Sheikh Janab, has issued a decree to "restructure and centralize the general revenues of the Kurdistan Region in a way that deposits all revenues in a private, closed account" under the ministry's control. The decree was signed on Tuesday, following the cabinet's decision the previous day to restructure public finances across the Kurdistan Region.
This move is part of an agreement between KRG Premier Masrour Barzani and Deputy Premier Qubad Talabani, made on May 14, after months of escalating tension between the KDP and PUK. The KRG website stated on Monday that this decision empowers the Prime Minister and his deputy to establish necessary mechanisms for the "rapid implementation" of the resolution.
Long-standing accusations have been made by the two parties against each other for withholding revenues from areas under their respective control. In March, both sides blamed each other for the lack of funds in banks, which resulted in delays in disbursing public sector salaries.
An equally contentious issue is the allocation of these revenues. The PUK accuses the KDP of disproportionately allocating funds to Erbil and Duhok (under KDP control), while neglecting the PUK stronghold of Sulaymaniyah.
Part of the recent agreement includes "implementing a fair policy for their distribution among the regions based on the population of governorates and autonomous provinces," as explained in the KRG's statement.
"To facilitate this, they [the cabinet] agreed to consolidate all revenues from the Kurdistan Region into a single bank account, discontinuing the current percentage-based system for revenue allocation."
The percentage-based system currently divides the Kurdistan Region's revenues such that KDP-controlled areas receive 57% while PUK areas receive 43%.
23. May 2023 15:48
PM meets Duchess of Edinburgh in Erbil
Prime Minister Masrour Barzani hosted the Duchess of Edinburgh in Erbil. Also present were the British Ambassador to Iraq and the Consul General in Erbil.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) readout did not mention the recent parliamentary controversy.
Similarly, the British consulate in Erbil has not responded to our inquiries about whether they endorse the KDP's portrayal of their attempts to carry out elections without reforms as moves to appease the international community's demands.
Full read out
On Tuesday, May 23, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Masrour Barzani, warmly welcomed Her Royal Highness Sophie, the Duchess of Edinburgh.
Attending the meeting were the British Ambassador to Iraq and the UK's Consul General in Erbil. Prime Minister Barzani highlighted the exceptional and amicable relations between the Kurdistan Region and the United Kingdom, expressing gratitude for the UK's unwavering support in various areas, notably in the fight against terrorism.
During the meeting, the Duchess of Edinburgh elaborated on the purpose of her visit, outlining her plans and objectives. She emphasised the importance of advancing the rights of women and children, particularly in areas affected by conflict, such as the Yezidi community who have suffered greatly under the oppressive regime of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS). There was a special focus on fostering a culture that upholds human rights, with an emphasis on protecting the rights of women and children.
Prime Minister Barzani reaffirmed the Kurdistan Regional Government's commitment to promoting gender equality and combatting all forms of discrimination and violence against women.
The discussion also revolved around the harmonious coexistence among different ethnic and religious groups within the Kurdistan Region, as well as the enhancement of the education system's quality and accessibility for children and women.
KDP's parliamentary antics draw sharp criticism from PUK media
PUK Media, the official media outlet of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), has criticized the Kurdistan Democratic Party's (KDP) recent actions in parliament. In their report, they draw upon the insights of Iraqi legal expert Ali Tamimi, who points out potential legal issues with the KDP's handling of matters in the Kurdistan Parliament and their attempts to reactivate the Electoral Commission.
Tamimi pointed out to PUK Media that the existing Kurdistan Region's Commission has become redundant and inactive, opening the door for the federal Iraqi Independent High Elections and Referendum Commission (IHEC) to run elections in the region. PUK Media has picked up on this point, challenging the validity of the local Commission and advocating for IHEC's involvement in future elections.
Backing up this view is Abubakr Haladnyi, a former Member of Parliament from the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU). He also sees the IHEC as a legitimate body to oversee the upcoming Kurdistan Region's elections. Moreover, he raised questions about the legality of KDP's recent maneuvers in parliament, notably the deputy speaker's decision to alter the session agenda without the speaker being present.
The report also includes criticism from Choman Mohammed, the coordinator of the Legal Chamber of the Gorran movement, which is part of the current Kurdistan Regional Government's cabinet and allied with the KDP. He argued that the move to reactivate the Election Commission was unlawful, broke procedural rules, and ran counter to the principle of compromise.
PUK Media suggests that the Independent High Elections and Referendum Commission of the Kurdistan Region has become outdated and criticizes the KDP for failing to honor their commitments to revive it.
These views have been echoed by Esta Media, another platform close to PUK leader Bafel Talabani, suggesting a concerted effort by PUK-affiliated media outlets to challenge the KDP's actions.
Late last night, the PUK's politburo finally issued a statement after 15 hours of silence, denouncing KDP's moves in Parliament as "autocratic" and in breach of parliamentary rules.
Interestingly, even in the midst of these tensions, the PUK's Deputy Prime Minister, Qubad Talabani, attended a meeting chaired by KDP's Prime Minister, Masrour Barzani. The meeting was focused on public finance restructuring in the Kurdistan Region. After the meeting, Talabani remained silent on the escalating tension between the KDP and PUK in Parliament.
In the lead-up to the contentious parliamentary session, Hemin Hawrami and Parliament Secretary Kahveci modified the session's agenda to include the revival of the High Election and Referendum Commission. These amendments were approved by the Deputy Speaker and Secretary, bypassing their boss, Speaker Rewaz Faiq.
Despite the resulting discord, the KDP pushed forward with the session, casting votes on the proposed amendments and the reactivation of the Electoral Commission.
23. May 2023 14:42
There have been reports of casualties following a suspected Turkish drone attack targeting fighters from the Yazidi Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS).
Turkey has accused the YBS of supporting its rebel group, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Pro-PKK outlet Roj News reported that Turkish drones targeted a house in Khalef village, located in the Snune subdistrict of Sinjar.
According to the report, nobody was harmed in the attack, but the house was demolished. However, other reports, including one by Rudaw, suggest there were casualties, though details remain unconfirmed.
On 16 May, Turkish drones allegedly targeted another house believed to belong to YBS fighters in Sinjar, killing three people, as per the Kurdistan Region's security forces.
Shaswar Abdulwahid, the leader of the opposition New Generation Movement (NGM), has informed French Consul General Olivier Decottignies that the situation in the Kurdistan Region is "dire."
He added that the people of the Kurdistan Region are eagerly awaiting the upcoming parliamentary elections, viewing them as their "last resort" to overcoming the challenges they face.
Abdulwahid leads the largest Kurdish opposition party in the Kurdistan Region. Following an unexpectedly strong performance in the Iraqi parliamentary elections in 2021 (where they secured nine seats), he hopes to build on that momentum with the aim of replicating similar success.
Given the internal issues within the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the recent uninspiring performance by Goran, the NGM could fare well in the regional elections if voter turnout is high enough.
Many former opposition Gorran supporters and independent voters seem to have abstained from voting in 2021. This is evident as the turnout in Sulaymaniyah (a stronghold for opposition votes) was significantly lower than in the other provinces.
The cost of the Kurdistan Regional Government's oil export halt surpasses $1.5b
The Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) oil export halt has been in effect for 59 days, resulting in a staggering loss exceeding $1.5 billion, according to Reuters.
Roughly two months ago, Turkey halted Iraq's northern export of 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) via the Iraq-Turkey pipeline, following an arbitration ruling by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). The ICC commanded Turkey to compensate Baghdad $1.5 billion for unauthorized exports undertaken by the KRG between 2014 and 2018.
Iraq's Oil Minister, Hayan Abdel-Ghani, today stated that Baghdad is patiently awaiting a final response from Turkey to recommence oil exports from the northern region via the Ceyhan port. Turkey has alerted the Iraqi government that it is evaluating potential damages to the pipeline caused by February's catastrophic earthquake. Currently, a technical team is on site.
There's more to the story, though.
Contrary to the official statement from the Iraqi government, sources within the government offer a different viewpoint. An insider informed Reuters that the resumption of exports might take weeks instead of days, suggesting the issue has become "more political than technical".
Furthermore, Iraqi government officials had previously ascribed the delay to upcoming elections, corroborating the political angle of the situation.
The ramifications of this halt are far-reaching, affecting more than just the KRG's revenue. The region's limited storage capacity, coupled with the export suspension, has caused most of the region's production, previously at 450,000 bpd, to cease. Operational fields have either been decommissioned or are functioning at a reduced capacity.
A spokesperson from Genel Energy informed Reuters that the Taq Taq field, which previously produced 4,500 bpd, is no longer contributing to storage. Furthermore, the Khurmala field, according to a source familiar with field operations, is currently producing around 50,000 bpd. This marks a downturn from 100,000 bpd a month ago and 135,000 bpd before the pipeline suspension.
23. May 2023 13:58
Recently, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan's (PUK) media outlets, including those in English, have become more active.
A comprehensive report from PUK Media details yesterday's chaotic events in parliament, explaining that the Speaker's decision to adjourn the session stemmed from an alteration to the parliament's agenda that breached internal procedures.
According to the party's own analysis, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) inserted an item into the session's agenda without providing a 24-hour notice to parliament members, rendering the action illegitimate.
The report further asserts that, had the Speaker not intervened, this episode would have cast a lasting shadow over the history of the Kurdistan Parliament.
At the onset of the political crisis and stalemate over the issue of democracy and finding legal, national, and appropriate measures for the upcoming parliamentary elections, the PUK called on all parties to engage in a constructive dialogue to work on amending the electoral law and reactivating the Independent High Electoral and Referendum Commission in a manner consistent with the principles of fair and democratic elections. To this end, the PUK was willing to make any kind of national concessions in order to surmount this democratic crisis and deliver the good news of elections and the renewal of our experience to the Kurdish people, all of its communities, and our international allies. With its patience and openness to reform, the PUK was even forced to agree to extend the parliament's term in order for it to be formed on the basis of legislation and for all parties to compromise on issues of national significance. Even at the most recent meeting of the PUK and KDP Political Bureaus on May 21, 2023, it was highlighted that all sides and all factions must agree on amending the electoral law and reactivating the commission. Furthermore, the PUK and KDP meetings have typically underlined that these two issues should be resolved jointly and national decisions taken on them so that the positive initiatives and meetings that our people and friends wish for are not disrupted. Unfortunately, the KDP faction disregarded all of these rules and, with the help of the parliament's secretariat, unilaterally added irregularities to the agenda of today's session of parliament without giving the factions a 24-hour notice and without respecting initiative, compromise, or any other attempts to reach an understanding. The KDP's current actions are entirely irregular and unilateral for the following reasons: First: The political parties of the Kurdistan Region had previously agreed that any legislation with a national character should not be handled unilaterally or based on majority and minority principles. Any such law must instead be handled based on national consensus, from creating its draft to adding it to the parliament's agenda. The measure should be discussed, approved, released, and put into effect after considering the opinions of political forces and parties. Second: It violates Article 48, paragraph 4, which mandates that any extra item be requested at least 24 hours before the session. However, the KDP faction added the reactivation of the commission as a new item to the agenda of the Monday, May 22, 2023, session without the speaker's permission through the deputy speaker and secretary of parliament. This is a unilateral action that is contrary to all the values of teamwork and nationalism. Third: It violates Article 18, which deals with the speaker of parliament's authority. Paragraph 3 of the article declare that the speaker has sole authority over the opening, ending, and adjournment of parliamentary sessions. In order to reach a national consensus on crucial and delicate problems of political life and regional government, the speaker of parliament decided today not to sign the item adding the commission's reactivation to the agenda and closed the session. Despite its political weight, the speaker of the parliament can make this choice because of the powers granted to her by the parliamentary rules of procedure. Because the speaker of parliament did not leave the session open for her deputy to continue, any meeting of KDP MPs after the conclusion of the formal session is wholly irregular and without legal standing. The PUK insists on holding free and fair elections so that Kurdistan as a whole can express its will. Therefore, nothing wrong or unworthy of the experience of our people shall be tolerated for the sake of this democratic will. Last but not least, we would like to remind all parties that the PUK is not a force that accepts self-imposition and yields to the will of another party, but rather that it is prepared to make any sacrifice for the benefit of the Kurdish people and hold free and fair elections, which is the desire of all political forces, parties, and Kurdish society.
Iraq’s oil minister Hayan Abdel-Ghani is cited in Reuters saying what we already know: Ankara is blaming ‘technical faults and maintenance issues’ for the delay in resuming oil export from the Kurdistan Region.
The report says that Turkey told Baghdad it was evaluating whether the pipeline was damaged because of the devastating February earthquake and a technical team had been evaluating the situation. BUT the earthquake was in February and the shutdown was on 25 March, So there was no issues then and technical issues would not certainly take two months to fix, especially we are talking about transportation of hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil per day.
Observers speculate that Ankara is using the technical issue as an excuse in order to get Baghdad to compromise on hefty fine that it was given and/or other financial or security compromises. Turkey's presidential elections are also just around the corner which could be contributing to the delay.
The International Chamber of Commerce in Paris ruled in favor of the Iraqi government against Turkey and ordered Ankara to pay $1.5 billion after the Turkish government exported the region’s oil from 2014-2018 without Baghdad’s consent.
Turkey has presented counterclaims in the arbitration court, encompassing matters such as the pipeline’s limited capacity and outstanding transportation fees dating back several decades. Consequently, the court granted Turkey an award of nearly $600 million, according to a Western source speaking to Middle East Eye.
According to Reuters, Turkey is not willing to restart the flow until a second arbitration case is resolved, which covers the period from 2018 to 2022.
23. May 2023 11:28
PUK denounces 'autocratic' KDP moves
Last night, well into the witching hours, the PUK's politburo issued a statement concerning the contentious events that took place in the Kurdistan Parliament on Monday morning.
The PUK labeled the KDP's maneuvers in Parliament as "autocratic and in violation of parliamentary bylaws."
The PUK conveyed that they had previously agreed to extend the parliamentary term to allow for further agreements and nationwide law consensus. However, the party criticized Muna Kahveci, Parliamentary Secretary and member of a Turkmen party close to the KDP, for bolstering the KDP bloc.
The PUK claimed they altered the Kurdistan Parliament's agenda in an autocratic manner, defying parliamentary bylaws.
Nevertheless, the PUK stressed the importance of free and fair elections, ensuring that the entirety of Kurdistan can voice its will. The party maintained that it would not tolerate anything dishonorable to the experience of their people for the sake of democracy.
The PUK's assertive statement concluded with a potent quote, "The PUK is not a force that succumbs to self-imposition or bends to the will of another party."
This late-night statement was the PUK's first formal response following nearly 14 hours of tension in the Kurdistan Parliament.
Interestingly, amidst the parliamentary strain, PUK's Deputy Prime Minister, Qubad Talabani, attended a meeting chaired by KDP's Prime Minister, Masrour Barzani. The meeting centered on restructuring the Kurdistan Region's public finances. Following the meeting, Talabani refrained from commenting on the escalating tension between the KDP and PUK in Parliament.
A day prior to the parliamentary session, both Hemin Hawrami and Secretary of Parliament Kahveci amended the session's agenda. These amendments, including the revival of the High Election and Referendum Commission, were approved solely by the Deputy Speaker and Secretary, bypassing the Speaker of Parliament's approval.
The opening of yesterday's session was marked by tension between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) members, with footage documenting the evolving situation.
Despite the discord, the KDP pressed forward with the illegal session, 'voting' on the proposed amendments and the reactivation of the Electoral Commission.
23. May 2023 11:22
In the aftermath of yesterday's turmoil in the Kurdistan Parliament, everyone is left wondering about what's next.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) was swift in issuing comprehensive statements, presenting its narrative that the regional elections commission now carries a new mandate with the addition of two new members to the committee. Handren Mohammed (KDP), the head of the commission, informed KDP-affiliated media outlets that the commission is currently awaiting a formal decree from the Parliament to recommence its preparations for the imminent elections. Bas News, a KDP outlet close to the PM, reports that the said decree from Parliament is now in hand.
The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), on the other hand, did not release a statement until the late hours. They declared their rejection the the KDP's "self-imposition" and declared that the session itself was in violation of the Parliament's internal procedures. We will cover all these developments throughout the day.
In other news:
Casualties have been reported from suspected Turkish airstrikes in the Sinjar district of Nineveh province.
Iraqi daily Al-Sabah reports that disputes over the Kurdistan Region's share of the Iraqi federal budget have delayed passage through the Iraqi Parliament's finance committee. This delay comes ahead of the budget bill's submission to Parliament for a vote. The committee members are now expected to finalize the details on Tuesday before presenting it to Parliament by the end of the week.