ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The temporary speaker of the Kurdistan Region's parliament said on Saturday that an agreement on which parties would fill the body's three leadership posts has been reached and that the parties now need to submit names of their individual candidates to be voted upon.
“The KDP had agreed to give the post of Parliament Speaker to the PUK, first deputy for its party, and second deputy to minorities,” temporary Speaker Reving Hruri told the KDP website.
It should be noted that his comments are not an official parliament statement and have yet to be confirmed by other parties.
“We are waiting for the parties to send the name of their candidates,” said Hruri, who was selected as the interim speaker because he is the eldest lawmaker in the current term.
In late September, the autonomous Kurdistan Region held its parliamentary election, with parties competing for 111 seats in total. The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) won the election by securing 45 seats and was followed by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) with 21 seats and Gorran (Change) with 12.
On Tuesday, both the KDP and the PUK agreed to hold a parliamentary session on Feb. 18 to elect a speaker and two deputies after the first meeting has been left open since the beginning of November when new lawmakers were sworn into office.
Speaker Hruri also commented that although the names of some candidates ”are echoed” among lawmakers, none have so far been officially offered for voting in the upcoming session.
Regarding his party’s candidate, Hruri said that the KDP has not revealed the identity, but it will do so at the appropriate time, adding that his party has never had problems with choosing candidates for various positions.
Among lawmakers from minority communities, the second deputy post is most likely to go to a Turkmen candidate, according to members of the bloc who have repeatedly told Kurdistan 24 that they had already secured the post in negotiations with the leading KDP.
Up until Saturday's announcement, officials from neither the KDP nor the PUK had confirmed or revealed any information regarding the allocation of the key posts in the regional parliament.
Editing by John J. Catherine