Baghdad budget is for ordinary people and oil dispute is for the rich, says Gorran MP

15 Mar 2013  – Kurdistan Tribune – Latif Mustapha MP won the votes of 80,000 people in the Suli region. A prominent Gorran MP in the Iraqi parliament has accused other Kurdish MPs of wrongly opposing Iraq’s budget because of the ongoing oil dispute.

Latif Mustapha told Awene that, while the Iraq budget ‘belongs’ to ordinary people, the oil dispute between Baghdad and Erbil mainly concerns the corrupt politicians, oil contractors and foreign companies that reap most of the benefits.He attacked MPs from the ruling KDP and PUK who have opposed the budget and returned to Erbil in protest. Ordinary people could have paid for these theatrics but thankfully the Kurdistan Region Government (KRG) has got a reasonable settlement this year – 17% of the central government budget.

The Iraqi government is still refusing to pay money owed to foreign oil companies working in the south of Kurdistan because, it says, the KRG has kept $10 billion of oil income owed to central government coffers. However, this claim cannot be substantiated. As the Gorran MP says, Kurdistan’s politicians should confront Baghdad, not over dodgy oil dealings, but over Article 140 and other matters affecting the destiny of our people. Latif Mustafa is the kind of MP who always speaks his mind, straightforwardly and clearly. Kurdistan needs more MPs like him.