Kurdish MPs: FSC's ruling is a political statement in a time of crisis

Kurdish MPs: FSC's ruling is a political statement in a time of crisis

Shafaq News / Kurdish representatives said that the Federal Supreme Court's ruling on Kurdistan's oil and gas law is a political announcement that came in a time of crisis.

Former MP of the Patriotic Union of KurdistanFederal Supreme Court, Jamal Shakour, said that the time that the Court chose to issue its ruling has a political background.

"Why didn't the Federal Court criticize the oil and gas law in the past 14 years? this question makes the ruling look like a targeting and a political pressure on the Kurdistan's government", he added.

Shakour went on to say that the Court's decision, "targeted the region's government that belongs to all the Kurdish people whose rights must be respected, since it formed the government through sacrifices, blood and deprivation it suffered from during the previous governments' eras."

"Forming a majority government does not respect the rights of minorities that the constitution protects", he said, noting that it is unacceptable to marginalize any community in the country.

For his part, former MP of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Bashar al-Kiki, told Shafaq News agency that the Federal court linked the Kurdistan region's budget to the Iraqi Parliament's unstable situation, and obliged the region to fulfill its commitment before even disbursing its budget.

On Feb.15, Iraq's Federal Supreme Court issued a sweeping ruling against the legal foundations of Iraqi Kurdistan's independent oil sector.

The landmark ruling states that the Kurdistan Regional Government has no legal right to manage the oil resources within the territory it administers.

According to a 15-page court document published by the oil ministry and dated Feb. 15, Iraq's highest court ruled that the KRG's oil and gas law was unconstitutional and should be annulled.

The law was passed in 2007 and gave the KRG's Ministry of Natural Resources full authority over the development of oil resources in the region.

The ruling also obliges Erbil "to hand over all the oil production from the oil fields in the Kurdistan Region, and other regions which the KRG's Ministry of Natural Resources produces oil from, to the federal government."

The Supreme Court did not explicitly invalidate the production sharing contracts that the KRG has signed with IOCs, but it makes them vulnerable to legal action by the federal government in Baghdad.

Specifically, it allows the federal government "to seek to invalidate contracts between the regional government and other countries or companies for the exploration, production, and sale of oil."

It remains to be seen how Baghdad might try to implement the court's ruling, which comes ten years after it first filed a case challenging the legality of the KRG's oil exports.

The court's decision could force a seismic shift in the balance of oil powers between the federal government and the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government, potentially upending a 450,000 barrel per day (bpd) market and altering the dynamics of a government-formation process that has seen multiple blocs court Kurdish MPs.

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