Advisors to Kurdistan Parliament Speaker Include Wife, Brother and Relatives, Sources Say

Flourishing corruption in South Kurdistan

14/02/2013 00 RUDAW – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Since Arsalan Baeez became speaker of the Kurdistan Region’s parliament about a year ago he has doubled the number of advisors, most of whom are his relatives and some only possess high school degrees, a senior source said.

“Since Arasaln Baeez took over the presidency of the parliament, the number of advisors increased from 20 to 41,” and include his wife, who was appointed legal assistant, and his brother Hessen Sura, who is the deputy, said a senior source at the speaker’s office. “Some of the newly-appointed advisors only posses high school degrees,” he added, on condition of anonymity. “The parliament speaker has more than 40 advisors and none of them is appointed to work with committees,” Aram Qadir, the head of the Islamic Group Fraction in parliament, told Rudaw.

“The Kurdistan Region has more than 8,000 advisors and experts,” he added. Qadir also suggested that new regulations should limit the speaker’s power to appoint advisors. In defense of his action, Baeez told Rudaw, “the focus is only on advisors appointed during my tenure, but no one talks about advisors appointed before my tenure.” Another senior official at the speaker’s office said that, “The majority of advisors are paid without coming to work, and some live abroad.”