Masoud Barzani to chair Kurdish parties’ meeting on gov. formation
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A meeting, reportedly to be chaired by the leaders of the top two parties in the Kurdistan Region, is set to take place on Tuesday to discuss the formation of the new government, an official from one party announced on Monday.
Nearly two months after the Sep. 30 regional parliamentary elections, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), winner of 45 seats in the 111-seat Kurdistan Parliament, began meeting with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Gorran (Change) Movement.
Negotiations have been slow, with the PUK, winner of 21 seats, and Gorran, with 12 seats, hoping to gain the most out of a possible alliance.
The KDP has previously argued that the allotment of official posts to each party within a coalition government should be proportional to their number of seats in parliament.
KDP delegates have met twice mid-December with the PUK and Gorran.
“The politburos of the PUK and KDP will hold a meeting at the office of Kak Masoud [Barzani],” Sheikh Jaafar Sheikh Mustafa, a senior member of the PUK, told Kurdistan 24. Kosrat Rasul Ali, the first deputy head of the PUK and the acting party leader, will be at the head of the PUK delegation.
Following this meeting, “talks will resume between the committees of both sides tasked with negotiations regarding the formation of the new government.”
Sources from the KDP’s negotiating group have stated the PUK wants to reach an all-or-nothing agreement regarding the new KRG cabinet, disputed territories, and Iraqi federal government posts, which the KDP has refused to do, preferring to discuss non-government-formation topics in separate meetings.
The talks come as the PUK aims to secure the post of Minister of Justice within the Iraqi government, a position which remains vacant. Choosing a new Kurdish Governor for Kirkuk and the current situation in the province, in general, is another topic on which the PUK seeks to gain KDP’s consent and support.
“We will work to resolve all issues,” said Sheikh Mustafa, adding that before the passing of PUK leader Jalal Talabani, the two parties had an easier time settling disputes through their top figures, namely Talabani and Barzani.
Editing by Nadia Riva