ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region’s Parliament on Wednesday postponed a session for the third reading to approve the amendment of the presidency law, which allows the president to be elected inside the parliament rather than by the people.
The session has been delayed for three days as the legal committee demanded the bill be drafted “in better and clearer language,” Jalal Mohammed, the decision-maker of the committee, told Kurdistan 24 on Wednesday.
Another lawmaker, who asked to remain anonymous, told Kurdistan 24 the postponement of the third reading session is related to disagreements about the bill between the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Gorran (Change) movement.
The leading Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Gorran previously agreed that the latter party would receive the post of vice-president of the Kurdistan Region.
“Now, the PUK demands another deputy is added for the president post, and that it be given to them,” the lawmaker said. “Gorran rejects this idea.”
Signed by 68 lawmakers, the introduction of the legislation came on March 28 to reinstitute the suspended post of regional president and amend the method of its election until lawmakers ratify a regional constitution.
Following the required three readings of the bill, lawmakers would vote on the passage of all of its articles. Upon approval, the parliament would then have the authority to elect a president.
In the past, the Kurdistan Region has held separate elections to select a president, but parliament seeks to alter this process temporarily in hopes to facilitate the formation of a new regional government.
According to the stated plan, this process would continue until parliament is able to ratify its constitution for the Kurdistan Region, which would outline the official procedure for appointments to the post and the powers it would wield.
The regional presidency was suspended in November 2017 when then-President Masoud Barzani announced he would end his already-extended term in the aftermath of the referendum on independence and as Kurdish parties failed to agree on a date for regional elections.
Since then, the powers of the president have been delegated to the prime minister, parliament speaker, and the regional judiciary.
Once a new president is elected, he would call upon the leading coalition to name its candidate for prime minister – for which the KDP has nominated the region’s incumbent security chief Masrour Barzani – who would then go on to form the future regional government.
In late September, the Kurdistan Region held its parliamentary election as parties competed for representation in the 111-seat parliament. The KDP won the election, securing 45 seats, followed by the PUK with 21 seats, and Gorran with 12.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany