Iraqi parliament speaker wants Kurds at forefront

Kurds must get a prior guarantee for their demands before deciding to return to Baghdad, a Kurdish member of Iraqi parliament said on Saturday.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Kurds must get a prior guarantee for their demands before deciding to return to Baghdad, a Kurdish member of Iraqi parliament said on Saturday.

On Saturday, the Parliament Speaker of Iraq Salim al-Jibburi visited the Kurdistan Region and met with Iraqi Deputy Parliament Speaker Aram Sheikh Mohamad and is expected to meet Kurdish officials in the Region, including President Masoud Barzani.

A Kurdish member of Iraqi parliament, Sozan Bakir, told Kurdistan24 that Jibburi visited the Kurdistan Region to persuade the Kurdish members of parliament to return to Baghdad and settle the political turmoil in Iraq as well as re-activate the parliament.

Recently, thousands of protesters broke into the Green Zone area and entered the parliament building to demonstrate their anger at the slow reform in the country and corrupt Iraqi officials.

“I believe Kurds won’t return without a prior guarantee from Baghdad. It is true that what is happening now is the accumulation of past issues and mistakes, but the situation has never been like this since the liberation of the country in 2003,” Bakir said.

Kurds possess 63 out of 328 seats in the Iraqi parliament. Following the current tensions in Baghdad, all Kurdish parties left as a united coalition and returned to the Kurdistan Region.

“Now, Iraqi political parties in Baghdad need Kurds because, without Kurds, they can’t reach the required number of parliament members to host meetings,” Bakir continued. “Perhaps more Iraqi politicians will visit the Kurdistan Region. It is an opportunity for us [Kurds] to pressure them to accept Kurdish demands.”

Additionally, she mentioned that that Kurds should carefully interpret the current situation in Baghdad. The Kurdish members of parliament are waiting for a decision from the Kurdish leadership on what the substitute of not returning to parliament will be.

Nawzad Rasul, another Kurdish member of parliament in Baghdad, told Kurdistan24 that one of the mistakes Kurds made in Baghdad was not being neutral. Instead, the Kurds in parliament leaned more toward the Sunni front, especially Jibburi’s bloc.

Rasul believes that in the current situation, Kurds should not be involved in the political tensions unless their interests are affected.

He stated that Kurds should balance their relationship between Shia and Sunni blocs in the Iraqi parliament to pressure them to accept Kurdish demands.

Rasul pointed to the implementation of Article 140 related to the disputed territories, Kurdish Peshmerga forces budget, and the Kurdistan Region budget as well as bringing partnership in Iraq.

Rasul also called on the Kurdish leadership to calculate the gains and losses of the Region in both cases whether Kurds need to return to Baghdad or abandon it.

“Jibburi visited the Kurdistan Region to pull Kurds to his front in the Iraqi parliament, but we have to question what we [Kurds] will gain if we join his front,” he concluded.


Reporting by Mewan Dolamari
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany