World Bulletin / News Desk
Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi on Thursday threatened to withdraw confidence from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government shortly after al-Maliki criticized parliament for failing to pass a proposed budget for the new fiscal year.
"Parliament has been the source of the al-Maliki government's legitimacy," al-Nujaifi said at a press conference at parliament headquarters. "And it can also withdraw this legitimacy."
In a televised address on Wednesday, al-Maliki blasted parliament's failure to pass his proposed general budget, accusing the assembly of working to undermine his government.
Al-Maliki personally accused al-Nujaifi of defying the will of more than 100 MPs by hampering the passage of the proposed budget.
The prime minister went on to say he would adopt the draft budget – even without parliamentary approval.
Iraq's proposed budget for the 2014/15 fiscal year has become a contentious issue amid ongoing disputes between Baghdad and the Kurdistan administration over the latter's share of budget allocations.
The Iraqi cabinet endorsed the draft budget in mid-January, referring it to parliament for approval. The Kurdistan administration rejected it, however, because it did not include certain expected allocations.
On Thursday, al-Nujaifi dismissed al-Maliki's allegations as "desperate electoral propaganda."
He accused the premier of manufacturing crises to distract attention from his government's failure to resolve armed conflicts in the western Anbar province and in other parts of Iraq.
According to al-Nujaifi, parliament decided to postpone a Thursday session – which had been scheduled to discuss the situation in Anbar – because government and security officials had failed to show up.
Since last December, Anbar has been the scene of violent clashes in which government forces have fought both local tribesmen and militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) group.
Sunni tribes in the province accuse Baghdad of neglecting their demands for better living conditions, while the ISIL says it wants to establish an Islamic state in the region.Last Mod: 06 Mart 2014, 16:39