Nechirvan Barzani elected as President of Kurdistan Region

New Generation and PUK MPs boycott the session
Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani speaks during a press conference in Erbil, January 27, 2019.

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SULAIMANI — The Kurdistan Parliament elected Nechirvan Barzani as the President of the Kurdistan Region on Tuesday (May 28).

Barzani was selected with 68 votes from the 81 lawmakers who were present in the session.

The other four candidates who were standing as independents did not receive any votes.

The New Generation and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) caucuses boycotted the session.

Member of New Generation caucus Mam Burhan Qani said during a press conference before the vote that the presidency law does not serve democracy or help to establish a parliamentary system in the Region.

“The law was passed without the principles that should have been in the law. So we will not participate in today’s parliamentary session,” he added.

Meanwhile, the PUK Politburo released a statement saying its caucus would not participate in the session.

“The Kurdistan Democratic Party [KDP] has not stepped up to implement our agreements with it. The KDP always makes obstacles for the nomination of a governor from the PUK [in Kirkuk, as we have agreed on],” the statement read.

“Thus, we tell our public that that unilateral policy won’t have positive consequences … We wanted to work as one team in the Kurdistan Regional Government and Baghdad, but the KDP has made it difficult to implement the agreements with the PUK and it hasn’t committed to them. The PUK caucus won’t participate in today’s parliamentary election.”

The KDP caucus said the party’s agreement with PUK could be affected as a result of the the party's actions.

“The non-participation of the PUK caucus in the session will have an effect on all of our agreements,” head of KDP caucus Omed Khoshnaw said during a press conference.

The other four candidates were Omed Abdulsalam Qadir, Mohammed Hama Salih Omer, Rebwar Aziz Mostafa, and Hiwa Abdulla Khidr, who were standing as independents.

(NRT Digital Media)

*Updated at 12:07 EBL time