KDP and Gorran wanted to form government without PUK: official

Parliament to convene after KDP-PUK sign agreement
Member of PUK Leadership Council Farid Asasard (File)

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SULAIMANI — The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Change Movement (Gorran) wanted to form a government without the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), an official from the PUK's  leadership has said.

Member of PUK Leadership Council Farid Asasard said in an interview with Voice of America published on Tuesday (April 23) that the KDP and Gorran wanted to repeat the scenario of 2013 against the PUK, excluding it from the government.

“The KDP and Gorran wanted to reach an agreement and to form a new government without PUK and leave PUK’s posts vacant,” Asasard said.

PUK officials informed the KDP that the party would not participate in the new government if they continued with the government formation without PUK, he added.

“The KDP understood late on that we were serious” and changed its attitude, he said.

The Kurdistan Parliament will hold a session after the KDP and PUK sign an agreement, he noted. He, however, did not give a timetable of the signing ceremony.

205 days have been passed since voters in the Kurdistan Region went to the polls to elect their members of parliament.

Talks between the KDP, PUK, and Gorran have been ongoing since December. The current stumbling block is related to the vice presidency.

Earlier this month, PUK officials began objecting to the vice presidency being held by a Gorran official because it felt that the latter party should not have responsibility over security policy and Peshmerga reform.

Gorran had been promised the post by the KDP in the political agreement between the two in February.

The idea was floated that a second vice presidency be created. On April 15, Voice of America published an interview with PUK Politburo member Saadi Ahmed Pira, who hinted that the matter had been settled and that the PUK would hold the first vice president post.

Subsequent comments by party spokesperson Latif Sheikh Omer appeared to suggest the party is no longer interested in creating a second position, but will instead demand the single position for itself.

For its part, Gorran has said that the KDP and the PUK should not have sole responsibility for security affairs, suggesting that it is willing to give up the vice presidency in exchange for the Peshmerga Affairs Ministry.

KDP Politburo Secretary-General Fazil Mirani said the issue of the Kurdistan Region's presidency would be settled in the near future and that the KDP would reach an agreement with the other political parties.

The KDP has nominated current Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani as its candidate for the presidency.

(NRT Digital Media)