Main opposition parties yet to decide on role in new Kurdistan government

The two main Kurdish opposition parties have yet to decide whether they will take up roles in the new Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) cabinet as they wait to meet with leading party and present their terms.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The two main Kurdish opposition parties have yet to decide whether they will take up roles in the new Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) cabinet as they wait to meet with leading party and present their terms.

Over the past decade, Gorran (Change) has been the largest opposition party in the Kurdish-semi autonomous region. In the 2013 regional parliamentary election, it won 24 seats, becoming the second-largest party in the Kurdistan Region.

They participated in government for the first time but refrained from doing so halfway through the parliament’s term following political tension with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

In the 2018 election, the number of seats for Gorran dropped to 12, halving their 2013 gains.

“Gorran is now conducting a survey among its members on whether the party should be a part of the new government or not,” Kwestan Mohammed, a member of Gorran’s national assembly, told Kurdistan 24 on Thursday.

She noted Gorran was still waiting to meet with the election winners, the KDP, to determine the party’s representation in the new cabinet and “whether it will be based on a real partnership or simply symbolic.”

After the survey is completed and the party has met with the KDP, Gorran will issue its final decision on its participation in the new government, Mohammed explained.

The KDP, which increased its seats from 38 to 45 out of a total 111 in parliament, has stated it has no “red lines” regarding any party wishing to be part of the new government.

The KDP, over the past decade, has sought consensus among parties in the Kurdistan Region and has often handed its governmental posts to other parties for bipartisan purposes. This time, however, the KDP has affirmed it would hold its full share of executive positions in government, which would reflect the 45 seats it now holds.

“This time, any party participating in the government with us will be allocated a number of posts based on the seats won in the Sep. 30 election,” Hassan Jabbari, a member of the KDP, told Kurdistan 24 on Thursday.

The Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG), also known as Komal, won seven seats. The party is yet to decide whether it will be part of the new cabinet.

“The new government should be providing services to the people. It should be a government that can resolve people’s issues, including public salaries,” Abdulsattar Majeed, the head of KIG’s faction in the Kurdistan Parliament, told Kurdistan 24.

Majeed, who is also a member of KIG politbu­ro and was Minister of Agriculture in the previous government, stated that the KIG is waiting to hold meetings with other parties and only then rule on whether it will participate in the government.

New Generation, a newly formed party which won eight seats, has already announced it will be part of the opposition during this parliamentary term.

Both the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) and Kurdistan Islamic Movement (KIM), which ran in the Sep. 30 election under one electoral list, won five seats. They have also decided to serve as opposition after having their seats dropped by half.­­­­­

Editing by Nadia Riva