Banners for the general elections in 2014 with the portraits of the heads of the three major parties in the Kurdistan Region: KDP, Gorran and PUK, the three largest parties, respectively. File photo: Rudaw/Sartip Othman
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A trilateral meeting is scheduled to be held on Tuesday between the major Kurdish political parties: the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and Change Movement (Gorran), notably to discuss the reactivation of the Kurdistan parliament.
“In yesterday’s KDP and PUK meeting it was decided that a trilateral meeting would be held between the PUK, KDP, and Gorran at the PUK politburo in Erbil on Tuesday,” Latif Sheikh Omer, a PUK leadership council member, told Rudaw Monday.
PUK and KDP were scheduled to hold a follow-up meeting on Monday to sign the agreement they had reached the day before, but that has been postponed, according to PUK media.
The PUK and Komal held a meeting on Monday afternoon to discuss a seven-point proposal for the main Kurdish parties, as this round of intensive talks has been underway since Friday.
The two said at a press conference that their views are close to one another, especially on reactivating the parliament.
Abdulstar Majid, a senior Komal member and also the minister for agriculture, told reporters that they will have a trilateral meeting with both the PUK and the KDP Tuesday.
On the issue of the referendum, Majid said that they have always voiced for a parliament-backed referendum.
“We have said all along that if the mechanism and the timing of the referendum passed the filter of the parliament, we will support it then.”
Majid said that, based on their discussions with the PUK, once the parliament reactivated, it “will be free” to discuss any of the issues of concerns in the Kurdistan Region with no preconditions. He added although the meetings tomorrow will determine the final settlement as at this moment nothing has been finalized.
Saadi Pira, the PUK spokesperson also said at the press conference that their “long patience” for over a year to seek a solution to the political stalemate has finally paid off.
He said that the KDP agreed to their seven-point project Sunday.
The project calls for:
- The reactivation of the
- For the parliament to cancel the
salary-cut system that was introduced by the government in the face of the
financial crisis and to give guarantees to pay back the reduced salaries ever
- To vote on the members of the Oil
and Gas Fund
- To amend the election law so that
the people in the disputed or the Kurdistani areas are also eligible to vote
for their own members in the Kurdistan parliament
- To approve a law for the
- For the parliament to approve
constitutional committee to draft a constitution for “the state of Kurdistan”
- To amend the presidency law.
The issue of the presidential law concerns the fate of President Masoud Barzani’s term in office that expired in 2015 but was then extended by a controversial court ruling after the parliament was not able to reach an agreement. It also caused the rift between the KDP and Gorran that eventually resulted in the closing down of parliament by the KDP since that year.
The PUK also held a meeting with the Islamic Union of Kurdistan (KIU) in Erbil following their meeting with Komal.
Dr. Aras Haso Mirkhan, a KDP leadership council member, earlier told Rudaw that the central point of the expected agreement was going to be reactivation of the parliament.
“When the parliament is reactivated, the implementation of their points will be done there,” Mirkhan said. Issues such as “improving salaries and the livelihood of the people have to be worked on from the parliament,” he explained.
The High Referendum Council also met on Sunday and confirmed, “The political parties and groups involved in the HRC agreed to reactivate the parliament on Thursday, September 14, 2017 and to resume its normal sessions.”
Almost all Kurdish parties are increasingly of the view that the parliament is the right institution to pass a law that calls for the independence referendum set for September 25, two weeks from now.
Gorran and Komal have so far refused to agree to the terms of a joint KDP-PUK proposal to reopen the parliament about two years after it was shut down because of tensions between the KDP and Gorran, the first and second largest parties in the Kurdistan Region.