ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) leadership council said Saturday it wants “real partnership” in the governance of Iraq and the Kurdistan Region after the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) threatened to cut the PUK’s share of power in the Region’s next government.
“The leadership council considers real partnership in governance and common responsibility as significant in Iraq and Kurdistan in order to resolve issues and [secure] political stability,” read a statement by the council.
The meeting, held Saturday to discuss the outcome of the Kurdistan Region parliamentary election, was led by the party’s deputy secretary general Kosrat Rasul Ali.
The KDP and the PUK had joined forces for Iraq government formation talks, but a dispute over whose candidate would become Iraqi president harmed the alliance. The PUK, which traditionally holds the post, succeeded in getting Barham Salih elected.
This angered the KDP, which accused the PUK of betrayal for allegedly violated a deal between both Kurdish parties on the Iraqi presidency. In revenge, the KDP could cut the PUK’s share of influence in the incoming Kurdistan Region government to reflect its share of seats.
Previously the parties have assigned one another an even share of government posts.
“The meeting … emphasized that Kurdistani political parties shall take the path of dialogue in order to pave the way for these issues to be resolved,” the PUK leadership council said.
The KDP and opposition parties have also accused the PUK of rigging the September 30 election in Sulaimani province. It is accused of issuing fake citizenship cards (jinsya) which were required for voting. The PUK denies the claims.
“We also strongly refuse all sort of defamation to distort the truth and all attacks on the PUK,” added the statement.
The KRG election commission announced preliminary results earlier this week. The KDP secured 45 seats and PUK 21 seats. However the main opposition party, Gorran, lost about half of its seats, falling from 24 to 12 seats.
The PUK says it will wait for the final results to declare its position
“We reiterate that the PUK will do its best to preserve the confidence and votes of voters through legal and official channels. We will declare our final position when the final results of elections are announced.”