Com­pe­ti­tion started to take Tal­a­bani’s seat

Kur­dish well-known politi­cian Mah­mud Os­man says that the post is not in the in­ter­est of the Kurds

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Salih Wal­ad­bagi

Soon af­ter the Iraqi Par­lia­men­tary Elec­tions, the com­pe­ti­tion to take the Iraqi pres­i­den­tial post started. The Shi­ites and Sun­nis along with the Kurds strug­gle to gain the seat.

Mah­mud Os­man, a Kur­dish in­de­pen­dent par­lia­men­tar­ian in the Iraqi Par­lia­ment and a renowned politi­cian, says that he is not sure that the Kurds can take the post again.

“Tak­ing the post would di­rectly de­pend on the re­sult of the Par­lia­men­tary Elec­tions. How would the re­la­tions be be­tween the Kur­dish par­ties with the Shi­ites and Sun­nis? How would the re­la­tions be among the Kur­dish par­ties in Kur­dis­tan? Will all the Kur­dish par­ties agree to nom­i­nate one can­di­date for the post? All these fac­tors are sig­nif­i­cant in de­cid­ing who will get the post,” Os­man told the Kur­dish me­dia.

He fur­ther stated that the big­ger pic­ture would be cleared af­ter the elec­tion re­sults are an­nounced, adding that the of­fi­cial stance of the Kur­dish par­ties would be im­por­tant too.

Os­man an­nounced that the seat is like a “cer­e­mo­nial post” and it does not have any sig­nif­i­cance for the Kurds be­cause the pres­i­dent can­not even re­ject the laws, and the post does not em­power the pres­i­dent suf­fi­ciently.

The Pres­i­dent Jalal Tal­a­bani, the Pa­tri­otic Union of Kur­dis­tan (PUK) leader, stayed in the post for ten years. But it has been va­cant since De­cem­ber 2012 when Tal­a­bani was trans­ferred to a Ger­man hospi­tal suf­fer­ing from a stroke.

The sit­u­a­tion is dif­fi­cult for the Kurds this time be­cause the Kur­dish-Shi­ite friend­ship is not as sta­ble as it was in the past and the Sun­nis have not been a trust­wor­thy friend dur­ing re­cent years. De­spite the poor re­la­tions with the other Iraqi par­ties, the Kur­dish par­ties will head for the cap­i­tal of the federal Iraq with sev­eral sep­a­rate lists to par­tic­i­pate in the talks of form­ing the new cab­i­net.

The dis­putes be­tween the Kur­dish par­ties has in­ten­si­fied since the PUK se­nior of­fi­cial Adil Mu­rad said that the post is the PUK’s share and the only can­di­date for the post is the cur­rent Kirkuk gover­nor Na­j­maddin Ka­reem.

Ka­reem was re­jected by the Kur­dis­tan Demo­cratic Party (KDP) to be­come the head of the Kur­dish united list in Kirkuk be­fore.

In a re­ac­tion to Murd’s speech, the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Pres­i­dency is­sued an of­fi­cial state­ment say­ing it will strive hard to re­tain the post for the Kurds but any­one who would be selected for the post must be ap­proved by the Kur­dis­tan Par­lia­ment.

The sen­tence above trig­gered a strong re­ac­tion from the PUK. The se­nior party mem­bers warned the KDP about this strange move.

Ac­cord­ing to the Strate­gic Agree­ment signed be­tween the KDP and PUK in 2009, the PUK agreed to take care of the Kur­dish af­fairs in Bagh­dad. Tal­a­bani took the Iraqi presi- den­tial post. In re­turn, the KDP agreed to take care of the Kur­dish af­fairs in Er­bil, the cap­i­tal of the au­ton­o­mous Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, and Mas­soud Barzani took the Kur­dish pres­i­den­tial post. Now the agree­ment seems to be ex­pired and none of the par­ties are keen on re­spect­ing the old agree­ment fully as Tal­a­bani is ab­sent. Mo­hammed Sai­hood, a Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment from State of Law (SLC) of the Prime Min­is­ter Nouri al-Ma­liki, says that the post will not be given to a Kurd. It will be oc­cu­pied, he said, based on the elec­tion re­sults.

He ex­pressed the of­fi­cial stance of his party and said that the SLC will sup­port a mod­er­ate Sunni can­di­date for the post.

A few weeks ago, Sunni mod­er­ate leader Ayad Allawi ex­pressed his sup­port for the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Pres­i­dent Barzani to be­come the next Iraqi pres­i­dent.

There are also Sunni lead­ers such as the Iraqi Par­lia­ment Speaker Osama Nu­jaifi and the deputy to the PM Ma­liki, Salih Mut­lak , who are strug­gling to re­place Tal­a­bani in the next Iraqi cab­i­net.

The ten­sions over the post are grow­ing as the Arabs have an eye on the post and would like to snatch it from the grasp of the Kurds af­ter 10 years.

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