Kurds rush to form KRG cab­i­net be­fore elec­tions

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

PM Barzani: The KDP wishes to form the KRG cab­i­net soon. We can­not an­nounce the ex­act date. Pres­i­dent Mas­soud Barzani in­sists on form­ing the govern­ment too. By Salih Wal­ad­bagi The ef­forts to form a new Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Govern­ment (KRG) have been in­ten­si­fied. The Kur­dis­tan Demo­cratic Party's (KDP) ne­go­ti­at­ing com­mit­tee, led by the Pre­mier Nechir­van Barzani, started a new round of talks with the win­ning par­ties in or­der to reach an agree­ment re­gard­ing the for­ma­tion of the eighth cab­i­net.

The KDP com­mit­tee met with the Change Move­ment, known as Gor­ran lo­cally, and the Pa­tri­otic Union of Kur­dis­tan's (PUK) com­mit­tee on 7 April, 2014. Af­ter­wards, the Prime Min­is­ter Barzani con­firmed that the meet­ings were pos­i­tive and the view­points were close to each other.

Barzani re­it­er­ated that the main fo­cus of the meet­ings was the for­ma­tion of the new KRG cab­i­net. He said: "The for­ma­tion of the cab­i­net has been de­layed for so long, it should have been done with by now. We be­lieve that the govern­ment has to be formed at the end of the day in which all the po­lit­i­cal par­ties have their own share."

He also stated that he prefers this so­lu­tion and it is much bet­ter than any other op­tions."

Fol­low­ing his meet­ings with Gor­ran and PUK com­mit­tees, PM Barzani an­nounced that they could not reach the fi­nal ac­cord to form the cab­i­net.

"We will meet with both the Kur­dis­tan Is­lamic Union (KIU) and the Kur­dis­tan Is­lamic Group (KIG) and then we will be able to choose the best al­ter­na­tive," said PM Barzani.

The most sig­nif­i­cant thing, Barzani said, is that the KDP lead­er­ship be­lieves that the cab­i­net has to be formed as soon as pos­si­ble.

Gor­ran chose to be in op­po­si­tion in the pre­vi­ous cab­i­net. Sur­pris­ingly, it fin­ished sec­ond, win­ning 24 seats in the last Septem­ber Kur­dis­tan par­lia­men­tary elec­tions. Its main slo­gan was "change" dur­ing the elec­tions cam­paign. Gor­ran promised its elec­torate to strive hard to in­tro­duce po­lit­i­cal re­forms to the po­lit­i­cal ad­min­is­tra­tive sys­tem that has been dom­i­nated by both the KDP and the PUK since the for­ma­tion of the first KRG cab­i­net back in 1992.

The KDP's strate­gic ally, the PUK, fin­ished third place by win­ning 18 par­lia­men­tary seats. The party finds it dif­fi­cult to ac­cept de­feat. And it is not pos­si­ble for the other par­ties, es­pe­cially the KDP, to ac­qui­esce to the de­mands of the PUK and grant it min­is­te­rial posts which it does not de­serve ac­cord­ing to the re­sults of the elec­tion.

The KDP of­fered a new pro­posal and asked Gor­ran to take the Min­istry of Pesh­marga in the next cab­i­net. Barzani reaf­firmed that the KDP and Gor­ran com­mit­tees talked about it in the meet­ings.

"We have not im­posed any re­stric­tions on any party con­cern­ing the talks about the for­ma­tion of the new cab­i­net, " said the PM Barzani, who is the KDPs' only can­di­date to take the next prime min­is­ter post.

Barzani said that the main task of the next KRG min­istry of Pesh­marga is to unite the 70th and 80th Pesh­marga di­vi­sions, which presently are con­trolled by the KDP re­spec­tively the PUK.

Ac­cord­ing to the KDP's new pro­posal to dis­trib­ute min­is­te­rial po­si­tions, the KDP keeps Min­istry of In­te­rior for it­self, Gor­ran takes Min­istry of Pesh­marga and the pro­posal of­fers the Direc­torate of Se­cu­rity Coun­cil as well as Kur­dis­tan Pres­i­dent's As­sis­tant of Pesh­marga Af­fairs to the PUK.

Barzani told the Kur­dish me­dia that the KDP com- mit­tee met with the PUK which was led by sec­ond deputy to PUK's Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Dr. Barham Salih. "We laid em­pha­sis on the vi­tal points to the PUK com­mit­tee," said head of the KDP com­mit­tee, Barzani. He added that the PUK has to re­spond to our pro­posal within the next few days. How­ever, some PUK of­fi­cials re­vealed that the party might be­come the cab­i­net's op­po­si­tion.

In ad­di­tion, Barzani stated that all the po­lit­i­cal par­ties should feel like they are win­ners in the elec­tions and no party should be ex­cluded in the process.

Un­til the last round of the talks, the PUK re­jected the KDP's of­fer; mean­while, Gor­ran says that it does not ac­cept fill­ing the post of a new se­cu­rity post in the new cab­i­net just for the sake of pleas­ing the PUK.

Deputy to the PM Barzani, Imad Ahmed, a PUK polit­buro mem­ber, said that his party stresses on get­ting ei­ther the in­te­rior or Pesh­marga min­is­te­rial posts. He also warned that the PUK will form the op­po­si­tion if its de­mands would not be met.

On the other hand, the KDP warned that if they can­not form a broad-based cab­i­net, then a ma­jor­ityled govern­ment would be the fi­nal op­tion. It also added that if the PUK de­cides not to take part in the cab­i­net, the posts re­main va­cant un­til the up­com­ing elec­tions will be held, then the posts will be dis­trib­uted.

The KDP ne­go­ti­at­ing com­mit­tee met with both Is­lamic po­lit­i­cal par­ties in PM Barzani's house in Er­bil on 8 April, 2014.

Head of KIU's ne­go­ti­at­ing com­mit­tee Mawloud Bawa Mu­rad told his party's of­fi­cial web­site that the KIU shares the same stand­point that the cab­i­net should be formed prior to the Iraqi Par­lia­men­tary elec­tions, which will be held on 30 April . He fur­ther stated that the people's pa­tience is over and they can­not wait any more.

"We talked about the KIU share within the new united cab­i­net. But there were still sev­eral dif­fer­ences be­tween the two par­ties," con­cluded Mr. Mu­rad.

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