ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Parliament on Thursday by majority vote elected Rewaz Fayeq Hussein as the new speaker of parliament as the former one, Vala Fareed Ibrahim, has been appointed to a ministerial post in the new Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Hussein, from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), will be the second female parliamentary speaker of the Kurdistan Region since the establishment of the legislative body in 1992.
Ibrahim, from the leading Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), was the first female speaker of the Kurdistan Parliament elected on Feb. 18, 2019.
Hussein secured 72 votes compared to her competitor, Shadi Nawzad from Naway Nwe (New Generation), who won only 16 votes. Nine votes were void and not counted.
On Wednesday, during the formation of the new KRG cabinet headed by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, Ibrahim was confirmed and swore in as the Minister of Region, which will act as a coordinator between parliament and the KRG, receiving 83 votes from 106 attending lawmakers.
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The post of the parliamentary speaker for this term from the very beginning was entitled to the PUK based on an agreement with the KDP, but tensions between the two parties led the latter to elect an interim speaker from its own party until disagreements with the PUK were resolved.
On Thursday’s meeting of Parliament, four new lawmakers were sworn in, replacing the members appointed as ministers in the new KRG cabinet.
The four additional lawmakers are Lanja Ibrahim Abdulrahman, Shirin Younis Abdullah, Himdad Sabah Bilal, and Bapir Kamala Salman Kamala.
The autonomous Kurdistan Region has a unicameral parliamentary legislature of 111 seats, with five quota seats each reserved for Turkmen and Christian parties and one seat specifically set aside for a member of an Armenian party.
The Kurdistan Region held parliamentary elections on Sept. 30, 2018. The KDP won 45 seats, the PUK secured 21, followed by Gorran (Change) movement, 12.
Editing by Nadia Riva