Monday, April 25, 2011

Islamic Parties report budget cut by authorities

Sulaimaniyah, April 25 (AKnews) – Two opposition Islamic parties in Kurdistan have complained that their parties' budgets have been cut by the authorities amid rising tensions between the ruling parties and opposition groups.

The complaints were raised after a local magazine Living Press said they had information that the budgets of the two Islamic parties; the Kuridstan Islamic Union (KIU) and the Kurdistan Islamic group (KIG) had been cut. According to the magazine, the government cut the budgets of these opposition forces under pressure from the ruling parties.

Earlier, another opposition group - Gorran - said that their budget had been suspended for the past two months.

"Our budget has been cut," the KIU politburo's Mohammed Faraj told AKnews.

"Today, without any justification, they refused to give us this month's budget which is 450 million Iraqi Dinars (around US$370,000)".

Andul-Sattar Majid from the KIG politburo however told AKnews that they would have to wait until the end of this month to ascertain whether their budget had been stopped.

AKnews contacted the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)'s Secretary of the Council of Ministers, Mohammed Qaradaghi, for an explanation, but he said he was not aware that the budgets of the two parties had been stopped.

"You had better contact the ministry of finance," he said.

The undersecretary of the KRG Finance Ministry Rashid Tahir, however, only returned the ball into the Council of Ministers' court by saying, "You better ask the Council of Ministers".

In 2010, the parliament of the Kuridstan Region passed the 2010 budget law under which a temporary sum of IQD90 billion (US$75 million) was allocated to the budgets of the political parties and organizations until the political parties budget law is ratified.

The parties' budget law has yet to be discussed by parliament.

Under the 2010 budget law, the KIU which has eight seats in the 111-seat Kurdish parliament receives IQD450 m (about USUS$370,000), and the KIG with four seats receives IQD350m (US$ 290,000).

Gorran with 25 seats in parliament received, before the authorities cut their budget, IQD580m (about US$480,000) while the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) led by the Iraqi president Jalal Talabani which has 29 seats receives about US$4 million. The budget of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) is unknown.

Some small groups like the Kurdistan Communist Party which has only one seat in parliament receive the same allocation as Gorran.

Reported by Idris Abubakir
Edited by Raber Y. Aziz

25/04/2011 16:02