Islamic Movement of Kurdistan: Federal Court's decision on regional elections quota is “political”

Islamic Movement of Kurdistan: Federal Court's decision on regional elections quota is “political”

Shafaq News/ The Islamic Movement of Kurdistan (IMK) criticized, on Saturday, the Federal Court's decision on the election law in the Kurdistan Region, saying it was a “political that went against the best interests of Iraq and Kurdistan.”

IMK said in a statement followed by Shafaq News Agency, "We support any action and decision that ensures the salaries of the employees in the Kurdistan Region, but we are skeptical about the Federal Court's decision on the salaries, as it has different interpretations and it may not be enforced like the previous decisions."

On the other hand, the dissenting Teachers' Council in al-Sulaymaniya governorate, Kurdistan Region (KRI), said on February 21, 2024, that the Federal Court's decision was a fruit of the teachers and employees' ten-year struggle, and that their dream had come true.

The Supreme Federal Court (the highest judicial authority in Iraq) decided on Wednesday, February 21, 2024, to obligate both Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani, the Prime Minister of the Federal Council of Ministers, and the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Masrour Barzani, to localize the salaries of employees and workers in the public sector through federal banks.

The President of the Federal Supreme Court, Judge Jassim Muhammad Abboud Al-Omairi, read out the judgment in the Kurdistan salaries case, where Al-Sudani and Masrour Barzani were obligated to localize the salaries of all employees of government entities in the center and the Region in federal banks outside the Kurdistan Region.

The court also decided to obligate the submission of the monthly budget for the employees of the Region to the Federal Ministry of Finance, with the Regional Council of Ministers being obligated to hand over all oil and non-oil revenues to Baghdad.

The ruling emphasized that the decision to localize the salaries of the Region's employees is final and binding.

Notably, salaries are among the main outstanding issues between the Iraqi and the Kurdish governments, along with the oil export and disputed areas.

Furthermore, political parties representing the Chaldean-Syriac-Assyrian components in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) denounced the Federal Court's decision to annul the quota seats and minority representation in the regional parliament as unconstitutional and politically motivated.

On Wednesday, the Federal Supreme Court, made several rulings on the Kurdistan Parliament's election law and declared the Kurdistan Region parliament's 11 minority seats "unconstitutional". It said the parliament has only 100 members, not 111 as before.

Noteworthy, the Kurdish election law, enacted in 1992 and revised in 2013, was challenged in the Iraqi federal court for being unconstitutional. The court consolidated the cases because of their similarity.

The law allocated 11 out of 111 seats in the legislature for minorities: five for Turkmen, with Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, and Armenians each having one seat.

The federal court replaced the Independent High Electoral and Referendum Commission of the Kurdistan Region with Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) to manage the Region's elections, following its ruling that the parliament's term extension was unconstitutional. IHEC will supervise the elections until a new parliament establishes its own regional commission.

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