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KDP, PUK to reach final agreement on government formation this week: official

KDP Politburo Secretary Fazil Mirani (File)
2019-04-24

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SULAIMANI — The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) will reach a final agreement on the formation of a new government this week, a KDP official has said.

KDP Politburo Secretary Fazil Mirani told reporters on Tuesday night (April 23) that there is no “big barrier” to forming the new government, but nevertheless there is still no timetable for the cabinet formation.

“We will reach the final agreement on the government formation with the PUK this week,” he said.

Meanwhile, member of PUK Politburo Saadi Ahmed Pira said the PUK had reached a deal with the KDP and that the next meeting would be about organizing a signing ceremony.

206 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.

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

(NRT Digital Media)