By Ahmed Mousa Jiyad.

Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

2019 Budget Law: Politics of Appeasement, Non-Compliance and Extortion

Data from different sources indicates that KRG oil exports, so far in this year, ranged between 418.8 and 438 thousand barrels daily-kbd and KRG gross oil export revenues at end of May mounted to $3.681 billion.

Draft of the budget law was debated, amended and approved by the parliament; then endorsed by the President of the Republic and finally promulgated as a law when it was published on the official gazette. KRG, Kurdish politicians, parliamentarians and commentators praised the law as it favors them.

Yet, so far and as it officially confirmed by the Minister of Oil and the Prime Minister, KRG did not deliver a single barrel of oil; this is the usual KRG’ non-compliance extortion practice.

Such practice prompts a wave of criticisms and accusations against the Prime Minister, who is known for his appeasement towards KRG even at the expense of the rest of Iraq. KR leaders know too well how to exploit Prime Minister’s weaknesses and his lack of resolve and leadership; KRG succeeded so far.

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Mr Jiyad is an independent development consultant, scholar and Associate with the former Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES), London. He was formerly a senior economist with the Iraq National Oil Company and Iraq’s Ministry of Oil, Chief Expert for the Council of Ministers, Director at the Ministry of Trade, and International Specialist with UN organizations in Uganda, Sudan and Jordan. He is now based in Norway (Email: mou-jiya(at)online.no, Skype ID: Ahmed Mousa Jiyad). Read more of Mr Jiyad’s biography here.

The President of the Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani, has tasked Masrour Barzani, as Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, to form the ninth ministerial cabinet, in the presence of the Speaker of the Kurdistan Parliament Ms. Vala Farid and the Head of the Judicial Council of the Kurdistan Region Judge Bangin Qasim.

It was proceeded by regional executive decree no. 1 (2019) and under the provisions of paragraph 12 of article 10 of the amended Law of Presidency of Kurdistan Region no.1 (2005), supported by parliamentary decision no. 7 of 2019.

According to the regional decree, the process of the formation of the ministerial cabinet must not exceed 30 days from the date of this decree, signed on Wednesday, 12 June 2019.

(Source: KRG)

By Kamal Chomani for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi is under great pressure from his government to force the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to deliver the allotted 250,000 barrels of oil per day to the State Organization for Marketing of Oil, as per the 2019 federal budget law.

Pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported on May 22 that Abdul Mahdi has threatened to slash the KRG budget if the oil is not delivered. Ayad Allawi, the head of al-Watania alliance announced on May 28, that Abdul Mahdi asked him to go to Erbil and discuss the oil dispute with Barzani.

Allawi met with Barzani and received assurance from him to cooperate with Baghdad. Yet the dispute has not been solved.

Click here to read the full story.

By Al Monitor staff. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

How Iraq’s Kurds are failing to come together over their new president

Nechirvan Barzani, the prime minister of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), was elected president by the semi-autonomous region’s parliament today in a session that was boycotted by the main opposition party.

Barzani, who is the nephew and son-in-law of the enclave’s veteran leader and former President Massoud Barzani, won 68 votes from 81 members present in the 111-member chamber.

Members of the opposition Gorran (Change) Movement as well as Turkmens and Assyrians joined Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) to push through the nomination despite the unexpected defection of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

Click here to read the full story.

By Al Monitor staff. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

How Iraq’s Kurds are failing to come together over their new president

Nechirvan Barzani, the prime minister of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), was elected president by the semi-autonomous region’s parliament today in a session that was boycotted by the main opposition party.

Barzani, who is the nephew and son-in-law of the enclave’s veteran leader and former President Massoud Barzani, won 68 votes from 81 members present in the 111-member chamber.

Members of the opposition Gorran (Change) Movement as well as Turkmens and Assyrians joined Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) to push through the nomination despite the unexpected defection of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

Click here to read the full story.

Today, the KRG’s Regional Council for Oil and Gas Affairs has published new verified data on the Kurdistan Region’s oil exports, consumption and revenues, covering the period from 1 October 2018 to 31 December 2018, after a review of the sector by the international “Big 4” audit and consulting firm, Deloitte.

The Regional Council for Oil and Gas Affairs acknowledges the positive feedback received from stakeholders, including the international community, and reiterates its commitment to the people of Kurdistan that the two international audit firms, Deloitte and Ernst & Young, will continue to independently review the oil and gas sector, inclusive of all the streams.

Deloitte’s report for the fourth quarter of 2018 is accessible through this link (PDF), in Kurdish, Arabic and English.

Frequently asked questions handbook (PDF) in Kurdish, Arabic and English to help readers better understand different sections of the report.

(Source: KRG)

By John Lee.

Kurdistan’s regional parliament has reportedly elected Nechirvan Barzani (pictured) as president of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

The leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) had been serving as prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

The vote was boycotted by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) — the region’s second-biggest party — and two smaller parties.

(Source: Reuters)

By Farhad Alaaldin for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

It has been six months since Baghdad formed its new government, and no major political crises have arisen. For Iraq, this is unheard of. This could be the result of the president, prime minister and parliament speaker working in harmony.

But as summer approaches, so do three potential problems: Basra’s urgent need for a reliable source of electricity, a growing opposition bloc in parliament and Baghdad’s contentious relations with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Many political pundits predict a tough summer ahead, one similar to last summer and its deadly unrest in Basra, when demonstrations erupted over the pitiful lack of basic services such as water and electricity, and many government and political party headquarters in the city were burned down.

Click here to read the full story.

(Picture credit: Christian Lindgren)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the courier company DHL , in partnership with the Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (JCCC) in Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) conducted a workshop on Getting Airports Ready for Disasters (GARD) for the period 14th to 18th Apr.

The workshop aimed to prepare airports personnel to handle the logistical situations in post-disasters. The five-day workshop provided training to 30 staff from Erbil and Sulaymaniyah International airports and employees from relevant government agencies.

The attendees jointly identified the areas that could potentially serve as key locations for disaster logistics operations in the two airports, the workshop also evaluated the airports’ capacities for processing high volumes of passengers, cargos and warehousing relief supplies.

The Director General of KRG Joint Crisis Coordination Centre, Ministry of Interior, Mr. Hoshang Mohamed said:

“We are very pleased with this partnership and we welcome this first-of-its kind initiative of “GARD” as it will further enhance our crisis management capacities to respond to disaster-affected people on time, through expediting and fast-tracking the importation and movement of relief items, and humanitarian assistance as well as the entry and exit of the humanitarian personnel. We extend our thanks to UNDP Iraq and DHL for conducting this programme”.

Vice President, Humanitarian Services of Deutsche Post DHL Group, Mr. Chris Weeks said:

“We at DHL see it over and over again – airports quickly get overwhelmed by the chaos of incoming relief aid, UN and NGO personnel, military organizations and the crowds of people trying to leave. Sometimes, humanitarian aids arrives faster than airport can arrange for it to get out, causing a massive bottleneck in the flow of relief logistics. Timing is critical during disasters and the more efficient an airport is at processing incoming aircraft, the faster aids can get out to those in need. We are really proud to conduct our first GARD workshop in Iraq”.

Officer in Charge of UNDP Iraq Mr. Vakhtang Svanidze stated that:

“The threat of natural disasters remain high. Recently  due to torrential rains, the country continues to witness large scale floods which have claimed lives, displaced people and destroyed properties. The Dam of Mosul poses significant risks to the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable communities along Tigris flood plain”.

Since 2009 nearly 50 GARD workshops have been held in 24 countries for nearly 1,160 trainees. In the Middle East, workshops were previously held in Tehran (2017), Almaty (2017), Aqaba (2016), Amman (2014), Yerevan (2013) and Beirut (2012). Through the joint work of UNDP and DHL, the GARD workshop is being conducted now in Iraq for the first time.

(Source: UNDP)

By John Lee.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has issued a report on its “Priority Humanitarian Small Scale Projects: In Health, Education, Municipality, Electricity, Social Care, Agriculture and Livelihoods and Water Sectors Kurdistan Region-Iraq 2019“.

The document presents a detailed breakdown of a total 167 priority humanitarian Small Scale Projects (SMPs) for 2019.

The focus is therefore on small-scale projects with the cost per project ranging from USD 28,000 to 1.2 million.

Download the full 39-page report here.

(Source: KRG)