ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A senior delegation of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) will attend Monday’s swearing-in ceremony for Nechirvan Barzani as the new President of the autonomous Kurdistan Region, the party’s spokesperson said on Sunday.
The decision came following a meeting of the PUK politburo in Sulaimani.
“Tomorrow, a high-level PUK delegation headed by deputy head of the PUK m, Kosrat Rasul, and other PUK senior members like Arsalan Bayiz, Hakim Qadir, and Omar Fatah, will attend the swearing-in ceremony of the Kurdistan Region President, based on the official invitation of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP),” the spokesperson of the PUK, Latif Sheikh Omar, told Kurdistan 24 on Sunday.
He also mentioned that PUK lawmakers in Kurdistan Parliament, 21 of them, would also take part in the event.
The announcement comes on the heels of recent tensions between the two leading Kurdish parties, namely after PUK lawmakers boycotted the parliamentary session which oversaw the election of Nechirvan Barzani as the new President of the Kurdistan Region, despite several bilateral agreements signed between the two parties over the formation of the new Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) cabinet.
In a dedicated parliamentary session on May 28, 68 lawmakers from the Kurdistan Region’s 111-seat legislature voted in favor of Nechirvan Barzani as the new President of the Kurdish autonomous region.
Both the KDP and the PUK accused each other of violating agreed-upon terms, resulting with the KDP publishing the full text of the agreement following the PUK’s parliamentary no-show during the voting session.
The inauguration ceremony will not be held in the Parliament building itself but in the Saad Abdullah Conference Hall in Erbil due to the increased number of local and foreign officials and diplomats attending the event, Kurdistan Parliamentary Speaker Vala Fareed Ibrahim said in a previous statement, inviting all lawmakers to be present.
Kurdistan 24 also learned that the Prime Minister of Iraq, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, Iraqi Parliamentary Speaker, Mohammed al-Halbousi, and Iraqi President, Barham Salih along with other Iraqi leaders and foreign envoys have been invited to the inauguration.
Nechirvan Barzani is the deputy head of the leading Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). During the Sept. 30 parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Region, the KDP increased its number of seats to 45, with the PUK winning 21 seats, and Gorran (Change) Movement securing 12.
Born in 1966, Barzani was elected as the deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region in 1996. He was elected as Prime Minister in 1999 and 2006. He continued serving after subsequently being re-elected to the post in 2011 and 2013, until May 28, 2019.
Editing by Nadia Riva