Sadi Pira, PUK spokesperson, addresses a press conference in Sulaimani, December 3, 2018. Photo: Rudaw video
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) “respects” the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) decision to nominate Masrour Barzani for the position of prime minister and Nechirvan Barzani for the presidency, the party said in a statement Monday.
The PUK will soon select its own candidates for other senior posts and hopes for a speedy formation of government, the party added – more than two months after the Kurdistan Region held its parliamentary election.
“In the meeting we held, we agreed that the caretaker government can’t meet a lot of the wishes of the people. That is why we need to quickly form the government,” Sadi Pira, PUK spokesperson, told reporters following a meeting of party officials on Monday.
“We as the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan respect the decisions of the KDP,” he added.
Earlier on Monday, the KDP announced its nominee for prime minister as Masrour Barzani – the current chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) and son of former president Masoud Barzani.
The party also nominated the current KRG prime minister, Nechirvan Barzani, for the Kurdistan Region presidency – a post which had been frozen following Masoud’s resignation.
Nechirvan – Masoud’s nephew – has served as KRG prime minister for around 15 years.
The PUK will meet in the coming days to nominate its candidates for the positions it is after, said Pira.
“It is obvious the position of the Deputy Prime Minister will be ours, but who will be put forth for that position, and what the division of ministerial posts will look like will be a topic of discussion between the two sides in the upcoming meeting,” Pira added.
The “broadening” of the government by adding a second deputy PM would be costly, he warned. There had been rumors of the Change Movement (Gorran) demanding such a position.
Kosrat Rasul’s son, Darbaz, is widely touted as the likely second deputy PM alongside another PUK candidate as the first deputy PM. The PUK is also demanding the role of parliamentary speaker.
Based on its share of seat in the parliament, the PUK says it id “entitled” to positions on the presidential board.
Pira dismissed rumors the PUK is trying to block other parties from securing government posts as “propaganda”.
The PUK emerged from the September 30 parliamentary election with 21 seats – an improvement on the 18 it secured in the last parliament. Significantly, Gorran was pushed into third place with 12 seats, down from its earlier 24.
The KDP came out on top with 45 seats – but fell short of an outright majority. This, along with the complex tradition of power sharing between the Region’s two tribal parties, obliges them to share the spoils of office.