Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Market forces ?

This appeared in the lower-right corner of the front page of the Bahrein newspaper Akhbar al-Khaleej on Tuesday January 29, under the heading:

Iraqi deputy to Akhbar al-Khaleej: American Companies offered five million dollar bribe to all deputies in exchange for passage of the Oil Law --Baghdad. Special to Akhbar al-Khaleej

An Iraqi member of parliament said secret talks have been opened by parties representing American oil companies, that include an American offer to give deputies who vote in favor of the Oil and Gas Law money amounting to five million dollars.

The Iraqi deputy, who preferred his name not be mentioned, said the amount of money that could be paid for passage of the Oil and Gas Law [thus] doesn't exceed $150 million, if the $5 million figure is specified for each deputy, and this will be an insignificant amount compared to the concessions these American companies will obtain. He was referring to the fact that the Oil Law needs 138 votes to pass, and this is what the American parties are trying to obtain by several different methods, including the buying of votes, and blandishments, and threats.

The deputy said he thinks the Americans will adhieve their aim with some deputies who will promise to vote for the bill in exchange for the mentioned amount of money, but he said others will not be selling their votes for any price, or under any type of pressure.

The Iraqi deputy said these talks, which are being kept in the highest degree of secrecy, are centered on the leaders of parliamentary blocs, and on persons with influence in Parliament, so as to obtain the biggest number of votes possible. He said the Americans already had the votes of the Kurdish lists assured, but what they are trying for is to get sufficient votes to pass the bill and enact it at the earliest possible time.

Recall that there are still parliamentary blocs that are firmly against voting for the Oil and Gas Law, and that there are others that say this should be put to a popular referendum, since it is something that concerns the fate of Iraq's oil wealth, and the sustenance of the Iraqi people.


Blogger annie said...


3:34 PM  
Blogger JSN said...

I'd like to know more about this, of course. So far, and I've read nothing serious about it yet except this, it amounts to an allegation by someone allegedly in the Iraqi parliament.

5:56 PM  
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