Basra provincial council
decided on Monday in an extraordinary session to activate its previous decision concerning transforming the province into a federal region.
Twenty members of the council officially confirmed the activation of the decision to transform Basra into a federal region in order to protect the city from centralization, which has become a burden to the work of the local government.
It’s not the first time that Basrans have requested federalism. In 2008, provincial leaders lobbied then-Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to establish administrative federalism for Basra, but the request was denied, Arab Weekly reported.
Today, local officials in Basra hope current Iraqi Prime Adil Abd al-Mahdi will be more sympathetic to their cause. The officials say if they are allocated a large-enough portion of the national budget, they would do a better job than the central government in addressing the province’s needs.