Barzani begins talks on forming new KRG cabinet
In a significant remark, Barzani said that his party will not veto any request from the political parties and would not accept any veto from others
Nechirvan Barzani, deputy KDP leader and head of his party's committee negotiating on forming the new KRG cabinet, and Gorran leader Noshirwan Mustafa speak during a press conference in Sulaimani on Monday November 18, 2013.
Almost after two months on from the Kurdistan parliamentary elections of September 21, Nechirvan Barzani, deputy leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and head of the KDP committee negotiating the formation of the new cabinet, has started talks with the allied and opposition parties that won votes in the parliamentary election. Talks began on Monday, November 18, to form the eighth Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) cabinet.
Barzani visited his party’s strategic and traditional ally, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which is led by Jalal Talabani (currently in hospital in Germany after a stroke), in Sulaimaniya on November 18.
He held a meeting with the PUK negotiation committee led by Barham Salih, the second deputy to the PUK’s general secretary and a political figure who is known to be a reformist and someone who is very close to the West.
Barzani and Salih held a press conference after their meeting in which they stressed that the eighth cabinet would most probably be a broad-based all-party cabinet.
Barzani said: “I think the KDP and PUK have been a powerful alliance in recent years in the political theatre of Kurdistan. We have achieved a good deal for our nation.”
A new era is now upon us, Barzani said after the parliamentary elections. The deputy KDP leader said his party is “pleased” that the PUK would be taking part in the new cabinet.
“All the political parties can take part in the eighth cabinet on the basis of the results of the Kurdish parliamentary elections,” said Barzani.
Regarding the recent disputes over the legitimacy of the Sulai- maniya’s governor post, Barzani declared: “At this moment, we do not want the current governor to be changed.”
Regarding the date of the upcoming Kurdistan provincial council elections, Barzani announced that the two parties have reached an agreement to conduct the elections on April 30, 201, in parallel with the Iraqi parliamentary elections.
“There is no guarantee that the political parties will not withdraw from the new cabinet; rather, it is a guarantee is the sense of working together,” Barzani said at the press conference.
“We are delighted to welcome Mr. Barzani and his delegation to Sulaimaniya. We talked about the formation of the new cabinet very frankly. The PUK will most likely take part in the next cabinet to help the government benefit the most from the opportunities now available for our nation. We will work together to implement the reforms that our people are expecting from us,” said Salih.
Salih further stated that his party wants to play a genuine and active role in the new cabinet, adding that his party has assured the KDP that it will confirm its commitment to the Strategic Agreement, which was a major reason in bringing the complex period of the civil war to a close.
The two parties know that a political change is emerging, Salih said, following the parliamentary elections. “We must take the change into consideration and strive to strengthen our alliance to make Kurdistan’s position much stronger.”
He added that he hopes the other parties support Barzani in forming the new cabinet, which is evidence of our national unity.
KDP-Change Movement talks
Following his meeting with the PUK, Barzani visited the main headquarters of the Change Movement (CM), locally known as Gorran. Barzani and CM leader Nawshirwan Mustafa, who broke away from Talabani’s PUK in 2007, held a press conference after their meeting.
At the beginning of the conference, Mustafa said that the meeting was “positive”.
“We discussed the formation of the new cabinet and hold many views in common which could form the basis of our agreement over the next four years,” said Mustafa, who also led the CM negotiation committee.
Barzani confirmed Mustafa’s speech and said that: “I believe that our opinions are close to those of the CM and that we have a good deal in common.” KDP-KIU talks One day later, on November 20, Barzani and his delegation visited the Erbil headquarters of the Kurd- istan Islamic Union (KIU), which won 10 parliamentary seats.
The head of the KIU committee, Mohammed Faraj, and Barzani held a press conference following the meeting.
At the conference, Barzani said, it was clear that the KIU had no “crippling conditions” ahead of the talks.
Regarding the issue of the distribution of posts in the new cabinet, Barzani declared that: “Our disagreement is not over posts; rather, we want to agree on a common agenda, which would ensure the next government is a government based on partnership.”
Faraj said that Barzani’s visit was very positive. He added that his party had not decided whether to take part in the cabinet yet. “Today’s meeting was mostly to understand each other.”
He also declared that the KIU would decide whether to participate in the cabinet in its next meetings.
Barzani visited the main headquarters of the Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG), locally known as Komal, following the meeting with the KIU on November 20. He met with the KIG committee, led by Ali Bapir.
At the press conference, Bapir said that the meeting was very positive, adding that what makes the people happy will make the
By Salih Waladbagi parties happier, too.
He stressed that the new cabinet has to learn lessons from the mistakes of the previous cabinets. He stated that the KRG cabinet has to be broad-based with partners who play an active and genuine role.
He declared that his party would not join the government unilaterally.
Bapir also declared that he hopes none of the political parties set “crippling conditions” ahead of the talks.
“We hope the new government will be based on justice, human rights and serving all citizens equally,” he stressed.
In a significant remark, Barzani said that his party would not veto any request from the political parties, and that it would not accept a veto from others.
He stressed that the KDP would take the plans of the other parties into account in forming the new cabinet.
“I am delighted to see that all the political parties would like to take part in the KRG cabinet,” said Barzani.
Regarding the amendment to the draft constitution, Barzani declared that his party will not veto the amendment.
Barzani added that he will visit all the winning parties, even parties that won a single seat.
Nechirvan Barzani, deputy KDP leader and head of his party's committee negotiating on forming the new KRG cabinet, and Barham Salih, head of PUK committee, speak during a press conference in Sulaimani on Monday November 18, 2013.