Decentralization system can strengthen Kurdistan Region: PUK co-president

Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Co-President Bafel Talabani (File)

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SULAIMANI — Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Co-President Bafel Talabani said on Monday (January 25) that decentralization in the Kurdistan Region can work to strengthen it as an entity and enable it to better serve the people.

The authorities in Sulaimani governorate, which is dominated by the PUK, are currently looking into whether to seek devolved powers from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), a move that has proved controversial with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) which has argued that it would weaken the KRG.

Talabani made the remark in a meeting with Head of Office of Canada in Erbil Ashley Durec, during which he also discussed his party’s plans for the upcoming elections for the Council of Representatives.

Talabani said that his party planned to participate in the elections, including by campaigning for seats in the disputed areas.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Kadhimi promised to hold early elections when he took office last spring, meeting one of the major demands of the protesters who took to the streets in October 2019 calling for root-and-branch changes to the country's governance.

The elections had been scheduled for June 6, but were delayed until October 10 at the request of Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) to allow for additional time for voters, electoral alliances, and candidates to complete registration procedures.

(NRT Digital Media)