ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The President of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Masoud Barzani, has expressed his opposition to the Iraqi Parliament’s process of electing a new president.
In a statement on Tuesday, KDP President Barzani highlighted that the current mechanism the Iraqi Parliament employed to elect a new president is unlike the previous terms.
In a statement on his official website, Barzani said Iraq’s presidency “has a direct relationship with all components of the Iraqi people, including the people of Kurdistan.”
“Any candidate who gets the majority of the votes from the Kurdish parties will be the representative of Kurdistan for the post of President of the Republic [of Iraq],” he added.
The KDP and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) entered parliament with separate candidates for the first time.
Each has been lobbying various political parties for support in recent days despite a months-long mantra, publicly voiced by both, of the absolute necessity for Kurdish parties to face Baghdad as a united front.
Ahead of Tuesday’s parliamentary session where MPs voted to elect the country’s new president, the KDP and PUK were believed to have reached a deal over the presidency post, with the PUK’s nominee, Barham Salih, withdrawing, paving what seemed to be a clear path for KDP candidate Fuad Hussein to win the vote.
However, following a late turn of events, Salih was back in contention, and it was the KDP who withdrew Hussein’s candidacy. After two rounds of voting, the parliament confirmed Salih as Iraq’s eighth president.
“Our desire was that all Kurdistan blocs would agree on one candidate for the position of the President of Iraq,” Barzani said in his statement. “However, the brothers at the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan made their decision alone to choose their candidate.”
The KDP president reminded that the Iraqi presidency “is directly associated with the political merits of the people of Kurdistan and it is not exclusive to any person or any specific political entity.”
According to Iraq’s system of power-sharing, a Kurd is to hold the post of president. While a prestigious and coveted position, the post is mainly ceremonial and grants few significant powers.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany