Newly elected Iraqi President Barham Salih greets the crowd during the handing over ceremony in Baghdad on October 3, 2018. Photo: Sabah Arar/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The PUK insists there was no official agreement with the KDP over the Iraqi presidency.
The politburo of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) issued the denial Thursday evening, responding to allegations from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) that PUK broke an agreement when it backed Barham Salih for the presidency.
Masoud Haider, a former Gorran MP who was part of the KDP's negotiations with the PUK about Kurdish representations in Baghdad, claimed the PUK violated an agreement they reached minutes before the Iraqi parliament voted on the presidency.
The PUK responded, saying Haider’s assertions “are far from the truth” and accusing him of trying to mislead the public.
No agreement was made with the KDP, or any Shiite or Sunni factions, the party said.
“The PUK commits to no form of chaotic and personal agreements” made outside of the party’s collective decision making process that includes the politburo, the leadership council, and acting leader Kosrat Rasul, it added.
Deputy head of the KDP Nechirvan Barzani also alleged that the PUK reneged on a deal, telling reporters earlier in the day that the PUK had “destroyed” Kurdish unity in Baghdad.
After failing to agree on a single candidate for the Iraqi presidency – a post traditionally held by the Kurds – the PUK and KDP each fielded their own nominee. The PUK’s Barham Salih easily beat out the KDP’s Fuad Hussein in a vote by the parliament.
Correction: This article was corrected on October 5, 2018 to clarify the position of Masoud Haider, who is an independent and not a member of the KDP.