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Iraqi Parliament Struggles to Ratify Budget Amid Political Crisis

As political and sectarian crises escalate in Iraq, the country’s parliament is struggling to reach an agreement over this year’s budget, writes Omar al-Shaher.
Members of the new Iraqi Parliament attend a session at the Parliament headquarters in Baghdad, November 11, 2010. Iraq's fractious politicians have agreed to return Shi'ite Nuri al-Maliki as prime minister, ending an eight-month deadlock that raised fears of renewed sectarian war, but leaving some Sunnis sceptical he can forge national unity. The pact on top government posts brings together Shi'ites, Sunnis and Kurds in a power-sharing arrangement similar to the last Iraqi government and could help prevent
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The Iraqi budget for 2013 is a remarkable example of the negative impact of political conflicts on the economic interests of this country.

Despite the fact that we are now more than two weeks into the new year, Iraqi politicians and officials have yet to agree on a government plan for this year's spending. This is not a new occurrence in this country, which depends on oil exports to finance more than 95% of its yearly budget.

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