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COUNCIL OF REPRESENTATIVES WILL VOTE ON BUDGET WITH OR WITHOUT ERBIL-BAGHDAD AGREEMENT: MP

Member of the Council of Representatives Thamer Theban al-Hamdani said on Thursday (March 11) that lawmakers will vote on the draft Federal 2021 Budget Law on Monday whether an agreement is reached between Baghdad and Erbil on the latter’s share or not.

On Tuesday, Speaker of the parliament Muhammad al-Halbusi added a vote on the draft to the agenda for the March 15 parliamentary session after it was postponed several times in recent weeks.

Al-Hamdani, who represents Fateh Alliance, said in an interview with state-run Iraq’s News Agency that Monday is a “fixed” date for voting on the budget.

“The budget will pass whether there is an agreement with the [Kurdistan] Region or not,” he said.

He added that the Federal Court Law has nothing to do with approving the budget law and they are not connected.

Later on Thursday, Deputy Speaker of the Council of Representatives Bashir Haddad told NRT that he thinks it is difficult for the bill to be approved in the session because there are problems with the Federal Court Law.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the federal government have been involved in tense negotiations over the budget for nearly a year, several times announcing the outlines of an agreement only to have politicians pull back from actually moving forward with implementation.