Iraq Lawmakers Overcome Rifts, Pass Key Laws

Long deadlock had threatened to dissolve young parliament
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2008 6:38 PM CST
Iraq's Kurds scored a major victory today, when the country's legislature agreed to allocate 17 percent of the $48 billion federal budget to Kurdistan, the semi-autonomous region in Iraq's north, the...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A day after the speaker of Iraq’s parliament threatened to disband the legislature, lawmakers passed three key but divisive laws after months of infighting, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The measures—passage of a federal budget, limited amnesty for prisoners, and curbs on the powers of local governments—allowed Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis all to claim victory, the New York Times says.

Kurds won a 17% share of this year’s $48 billion budget, Shiites secured a pre-October date for provincial elections, and Sunnis pushed for amnesty because 80% of detainees in Iraqi jails belong to their sect. “Today we have a wedding party for the Iraqi parliament,” the speaker said today, but critics complained the bundled legislation was unconstitutional, the AP reports.