KDP: Iraqi president post does not represent people of Kurdistan

“KDP will carefully observe the next steps of the new government formation and will make a decision in due time.”

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) on Wednesday stated that the current Iraqi presidency post does not represent the people of Kurdistan.

Following a meeting of its Leadership Council presided by the party’s President, Masoud Barzani, the KDP rejected the mechanism the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) used in electing Iraq’s new president, underlining that the post belongs to the people of the Kurdistan, a statement from the party read.

The KDP, the Kurdistan Region’s main ruling party, received the highest number of votes in Iraq’s May 12 parliamentary elections ahead of other Kurdish parties, securing 25 seats in the parliament.

“We do not consider the [president] post as representing the people of Kurdistan,” the KDP statement said, noting the post had opened the door for others to make decisions concerning the people of Kurdistan and not their representatives.

“We reiterate that the presidency belongs to the people of Kurdistan, not a certain political party.”

According to the statement, the post has always been finalized through the consensus and agreement of political parties from Kurdistan. It added that the PUK breached the consensus, warning the move is a bad beginning for the finalization of the presidency.

“KDP will carefully observe the next steps of the new government formation and will make a decision in due time,” the statement concluded.

On Tuesday, the Iraqi Council of Representatives elected PUK nominee Barham Salih as the country’s new president.

A total of 219 MPs voted for Salih, while 22 MPs voted for KDP candidate Fuad Hussein despite the latter’s withdrawal from the race.

According to Kurdish MPs, the KDP and PUK had reached a deal before the vote took place where the parties from Kurdistan would choose one candidate for the position.

However, the PUK withdrew from the agreement ahead of the vote, proposing a shared two-year term for each candidate which the KDP did not approve. 

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany