PUK meets with New Generation about Kirkuk electoral list proposal

First official meeting between the two
The head of the New Generation Movement’s Iraqi Desk Himdad Shahin speaks to reporters on Sunday, September 15,2019. (Photo Credit: NRT Digital Media)

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SULAIMANI — The head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s (PUK) election agency met with officials from the New Generation Movement on Sunday (September 15) in an effort to convince them field candidates as a part of a Kurdish electoral list during the 2020 provincial election in Kirkuk.

During a press conference, Head of the Movement’s Iraq Desk Himdad Shahin said that New Generation had decided to run candidates independently.

The PUK delegation “had some proposals for us. We will consider [their] proposals and answer them,” Shahin said.

On September 9, the PUK, the Change Movement (Gorran), the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), the Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG), the Communist Party of Kurdistan, and several other parties announced the “Kirkuk is Kurdistan” list, which will run to represent Kurdish interests during the election next April.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has not formally announced whether it will participate.

While the PUK did not appear to have succeed in its immediate goal of convincing the Movement to join its electoral list, the meeting was significant insofar as it was the first official meeting between the PUK and New Generation since the latter’s founding in January 2018.

Nevertheless, it is unlikely that the meeting represents a softening of the Movement’s opposition to the government or the ruling parties.

On Saturday, New Generation President Shaswar Abdulwahid said that the Kurdistan Region needed a broad-based opposition in order to prevent the corruption of the KDP and the PUK.

(NRT Digital Media)