“Op­po­si­tion MPS pro­vide mis­lead­ing in­for­ma­tion to the pub­lic”

The Kurdish Globe - - EDITORIAL -

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.

"Dis­tort­ing in­for­ma­tion"

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

by 17%

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

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