“Opposition MPS provide misleading information to the public”
The Kurdish parliament is getting ready to approve Kurdistan Region’s budget for 2013. Parliament members on the majority Kurdistani Bloc argue that opposition MPs are providing incorrect and misleading information, as well as data about the budget to the public, in an attempt to provoke people to oppose the draft budget.
The draft budget was prepared by the Ministerial council of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) before the end of 2012, and the parliament committees have started working on it since. Recently the budget discus- sions were brought to the parliament hall and the majority of parliament members have already shared their views regarding the draft.
MPs have been provided with a copy of the draft budget, which includes a 94-page report by the Finance and Economy committee as well as a 90-page comparative and analytical report. Despite the available data, and analysis, one Member of Parliament and head of Kurdistani Bloc says opposition MPs are providing false and misleading information about the budget. Sozan Khala Shahab says the figures given by opposition MPs are not founded within the available documents, and are simply used as propaganda against ruling parties.
MP Sozan Khala Shahab explained, “MPs have the freedom to criticize the budget” but the problem with the opposition is that they are not providing evidence for their claims. She went on to add, “What the opposition MPs are saying about the budget is not criticism but rather deceptive claims as they provide misleading information to their people”. One example given by Shahab, is that of the Finance Ministry’s allocation of budget for events such as Univer- sities’ introduction parties, scientific trips and so on. She says the opposition MPs have tried to force the public to understand this as “night entertainment” budget. The situation has been described as a “disaster” by Shahab, and that the discussion of budget in Kurdistan is not done on legitimate reasons but simply conjecture.
All MPs are given the opportunity to share their criticism or comments about the draft budget. Some of them talk at length, going up to 30 min- utes. Abdulsalam Barwari, member of the parliament on the Kurdistani Bloc argues that the majority of MPs repeat the same comments, issues and figures without contributing anything new to the discussion. MP Barwari told the Kurdish Globe, “This pre-fabricated mindset and reaction of the opposition would have negative impact on the process of discussing and approving the budget,” and that “All these repetitive discussions and statements have tired the public as well.”
Budget deficit lowered
The alleged alteration of facts and misinterpretation of information by the opposition MPs forced Kurdistani Bloc MP Amina Zikri to respond to the opposition Gorran Bloc MPs inside the hall of Parliament. MP Zikri told the Kurdish Globe that opposition MPs argue that the budget deficit has increased in 2013 budget draft, while this year’s deficit has dropped by 17% compared to that of last year. MP Zikri concluded by saying. “2013’s budget is so well-drafted in the interest of the public that it has no space for the opposition to play political propaganda with figures