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Draft constitution of Kurdistan and intergovernmental relations in Iraq
Ayman I. El-Dessouki

Last modified: 2020-08-16


The draft constitution of Kurdistan (draft constitution) was ratified by the regional parliament in June 2009. A planned referendum on the draft in the same year was deferred due to a number of disagreements between Baghdad and Erbil and as a result of calls by the US, who persuaded Iraqi Kurdistan (KRI) to wait for a referendum to avoid confrontations with Baghdad (Oettershagen, 2015, p. 22).There are large discrepancies between the Iraqi constitution of 2005 and the draft constitution over many questions related to the intergovernmental relations (IGR) between the Government of Iraq (GOI) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The 2009 draft represented an attempt to reduce the KRG’s reliance on the Iraqi constitution and cement the region’s autonomy (Schweitzer, 2015). Baghdad refuses to accept this draft as it considers it to be a serious threat to Iraq’s unity and an infringement on the Iraqi constitution (El-Dessouki, 2012).IGR in Iraq are crucial for KRI existence (Gunter, 2011, pp. 137-9). Nonetheless, these relations are far from harmonious and basically conflictual. The KRG and the GOI are locked in a struggle for control over land, wealth and political advantage, which is further exacerbated by opposing notions of national identity. This struggle is, of course, rooted in the history of the land.


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Published: July 2020