Ali Qaradaghi, Secretary-General of the International Union for Muslim Scholars. Photo:

Muslim scholar calls on Iraqi Kurdistan govt to reactivate parliament

SULAIMANI, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— The Secretary-General of the International Union for Muslim Scholars, Ali Qaradaghi, called on Kurdish authorities to reactive Iraqi Kurdistan’s Parliament and review the system of cuts to employees’ salaries.
Qaradaghi released a seven-point statement regarding the issues and crises in Iraqi Kurdistan Region on Wednesday in which he expressed concern over the political and economic crises in the Kurdistan Region.

“The political situation has become so complicated due to the deactivation of parliament, the lack of activities by the government and the poor relations between the parties,” Qaradaghi said.
The crisis erupted after Massoud Barzani’s term as Kurdistan President ended on August 20, 2015 but refused to step down and remains unofficially in office. The five major political parties failed to reach an agreement on a law regarding the Kurdistan Region’s presidency as KDP insists that Massoud Barzani should remain president of the region. According to the law, Barzani cannot run for presidency anymore, but the KDP party insists to extend his mandate in the all negotiations.
The Kurdistan Parliament has been in recess since October 2015 after Kurdistan Parliament’s Speaker was prevented from entering Erbil city on October 11, 2015. Kurdistan PM Nechirvan Barzani has removed four members of his cabinet from the Change (Gorran) Movement and were replaced by KDP politicians.
The Islamic leader called on authorities to review the government’s system of salary cuts for employees in the Kurdistan Region and said there should be a way in which employees can provide for their livelihood.

He also called on the five main political parties to put together a plan to resolve issues in the Kurdistan Region and to review relations with Baghdad.
Qaradaghi said he called for the reactivation of Kurdistan’s Parliament and a plan to develop a way to serve for the needs of the public in the Kurdistan Region.
His statement came after thousands of people in the Kurdistan Region, including teachers and employees, demonstrated in the Sulaimani Governorate on September 27, calling on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to review its system of salary cuts.
KRG officials announced on February a measure to withhold a percentage of salaries and vowed the measure would resolve chronic delays in monthly payments of government employees.
Salaries for government workers have been plagued by delays since 2014 and Kurdish authorities have repeatedly said they cannot make payments due to a number of crises affecting the region.
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