I’m sorry to report that nothing really significant or noteworthy occurred during the last Iraqi Parliament meeting. I feel they made very little progress. The Parliament reviewed government letters and discussed council committees membership, the council statute, working hours from Sunday to Thursday. That’s pretty much it.
This coming Thursday is the expected day that the President, Talabani will give the Prime Minister Maliki the official letter. If you’ve been following and staying current with my postings (while others were celebrating and thinking it was a done deal) you would know that I stated that the government was yet to be formed. My intel was correct. The government of Iraq is still trying to form their government and unfortunately, the process will be long. According to the Iraqi Constitution, the Iraq government must be formed and seated by the end of January 2011.
The next step is, after Prime Minister Maliki accepts his official letter the ministries will still have to be selected. It appears that PM Maliki will face a stumbling block going forward because the Al-Iraqiyah list will not choose any candidate before the political agreements and understandings have been settled between the groups. They will then also need to be ratified in the Iraqi Parliament. Talk is swirling around that PM Maliki will apply pressure to Iyad Allawi and other political groups in selecting the ministerial positions, however, Allawi is adamant on making sure the agreements are ratified such as; National Council for Supreme Policies Law, the accountability and justice law and other agreements.
What I just mentioned is one problem of a host of others. The State of Law (SOL) wants to start accepting resumes of selected people for the ministries positions by the different political groups. The problem is that they have not yet determined the number of ministries each political bloc should get or which ministry they are going to acquire. All of this is still up in the air and probably won’t be resolved on Thursday, Nov 25th. Be prepared for a long drawn out battle between the political groups. Another problem PM Maliki is going to have when attempting to form a government is which group is going to acquire the sovereign positions within the government. In case some of you don’t know it is; the Foreign Ministry, Interior Ministry, Defense Ministry, Oil Ministry, and the Finance Ministry.
Remember the points system I previously mentioned? Well, that’s another problem that they will have to agree on for each winning political bloc.
In the 2011 Federal Budget there is a possibility of them having a 25 billion dollar deficit. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is reviewing and considering future loans with the Iraqi government. Especially the 3.4 billion dollar loan.
The topic of the Iraqi Budget has still not been brought to the Parliament floor. It is still being reviewed by the Ministry of Finance. The Iraqi budget is not based on the rate of Iraqi currency it is solely based on the price of oil that is set by the Ministry of Finance. In next years budget of 2011, the Ministry of Finance has already set the price of oil at $73.00.
In regards to the rumors still floating around about the lower denomination bills, they are still just that, rumors. There are no new bills of any kind hot off the press.
I would like to say that if you’re expecting anything dramatic to occur within Iraq(in terms of finances or currency changes)before the end of the year, I would advise you all to sit back and relax and not look to this year (2010) as a year for any dramatic development’s. Focus on next year based on the information I have written in this post and others.
I do my very best to bring the most accurate information & Intel based on all my contacts on the ground as I conduct my daily business here in Baghdad. The American Contractor blog & mailing list has a large following and I feel I have a responsibility to provide my followers with information that is both accurate as well as confirmed.
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