MPs from the Iraqi Prime Minister’s State of Law Coalition are determined to interrogate the Kurdistan Region’s President, Massoud Barzani.
The MPs are now collecting signatures to grill Barzani in Iraq’s Parliament. The interrogation issues cover four key areas: oil contracts, Kurdistan Regional forces halting the Iraqi army in border areas, oil smuggling and controlling border crossings.
But Some Kurdish MPs say it is against the constitution.
A group of political leaders, including Barzani, previously failed to collect enough signatures to hold a no confidence vote against Iraq’s Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki. Moves to withdraw confidence from Maliki were put on hold in favour of interrogating Maliki in Iraq’s Council of Representatives. But this interrogation has still not taken place.
There are many sources of tension between Baghdad and Arbil. The most recent includes Kurdistan’s decision to export crude oil to Turkey in exchange for fuel. Baghdad dubbed this “illegal smuggling”.
A standoff on Friday witnessed 3,000 Kurdish Peshmarga fighters at the border strip between Syria and the Kurdistan Region halting the advances of Iraqi troops sent by Iraq’s government. Kurdistan’s Parliament plans to launch a committee after the summer recess that will focus on the disputes between Baghdad and Arbil.
There are some doubts among political factions that MPs will manage to collect enough signatures. Recent experience has shown that signature collection campaigns in Iraq are not always successful.