ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Senior officials of the Gorran (Change) Movement, the third largest Kurdish party in Iraq, on Friday agreed that their leader would decide which nominees will be selected for ministerial posts allotted to the party in the next Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
The Kurdistan Region held a parliamentary election in late September in which the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) secured 45 seats out of a total of 111 in the regional legislature, beating out the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s (PUK) 21 seats. Gorran halved their gains from the previous vote with only 12 seats.
Stalled negotiations to form a government have ramped up since last month when the Kurdistan Region Parliament named Masrour Barzani as Prime Minister-designate of the KRG. President Nechirvan Barzani later issued a formal letter asking him to form his cabinet.
Since then, parties that agreed to form a coalition government under the KDP have been working on establishing their list of candidates to take various posts in Masrour Barzani’s government.
On Friday, Gorran’s National Assembly—a body that is made up of elected senior party members, includes the Executive Assembly, and which decides official party policy—held a meeting chaired by General Coordinator Saeed Ali to settle the issue.
“With a unanimous vote in the National Assembly, [Gorran] decided that electing nominees of the movement is to be put in the hands of the General Coordinator,” party-affiliated news agency KNNC reported following the meeting.
According to informed party sources who spoke to Kurdistan 24, the agreement reached with the KDP gives Gorran the ministries of finance, trade, reconstruction, and social affairs.
The National Assembly had previously formed a specialized committee to select those who would lead the four ministries, as well as a deputy to the PM and a deputy to the regional president, which Gorran also reportedly secured. The committee has received about 400 resumes, of which it has reportedly approved 18. It is from these that General Coordinator Ali will presumably pick the final candidates for the various posts.
“The meeting of the National Assembly of the Gorran Movement today was one of the excellent and successful ones, and in the coming one or two days, the names of the candidates would be sent to Erbil,” Executive Assembly member Jalal Jawhar told KNNC.
In late June, the Kurdistan Parliament delayed by 15 days its summer recess that was due to begin on July 1 to allow for more time for parties to reach an agreement on the government.
The PUK, whose erratic alliance with the KDP seems to have stabilized recently after both sides resolved a lingering dispute between them, must also send its nominees to Barzani prior to the July 15 deadline.
A topic that has been a significant point of contention, and which the PUK insisted would have to be settled along with government formation talks, was that of naming a governor for the disputed province of Kirkuk. The two parties recently held a meeting and reportedly reached a conclusive resolution on the issue.
Once Barzani puts together his list of candidates and submits his portfolio to parliament, lawmakers will then vote to approve or reject prospective members of the PM-designate’s cabinet.
Editing by John J. Catherine