Senior KDP member Hoshyar Zebari speaks on Rudaw TV’s Rudawa Iro programme on March 13, 2019. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has given the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) a deadline, insisting the government must be formed by the end of the month, a full half year after the election.
The KDP, which emerged from the vote with the largest share of seats, 45, is leading government formation talks, but the PUK has resisted
, wanting to first reach a comprehensive agreement on a variety of issues.
"There cannot be some parties dealing with this process as a hostage and cripple it. It is not in the interests of any side," Hoshyar Zebari, a senior KDP member, said on Rudaw TV’s Rudawa Iro programme on Wednesday.
He explained that the KDP, in its latest meeting with the PUK, has demanded the government be formed by the end of March.
The people voted for a new government on September 30 and “it is their right” to see the government formed, he said.
After months of wrangling, the KDP reached agreements with its two main partners in the government – signing with Gorran in mid-February and then with the PUK in early March. Talks are ongoing, however, on the divvying up of cabinet posts.
The KDP has selected what positions it wants and is holding firm. Zebari said they told the PUK that "the positions of interior, natural resources, municipalities, and to a large extent health ministry [must] be held by the KDP."
Zebari said they are happy to give the PUK the Peshmerga and planning ministries and the deputy head of foreign relations. The KDP also agrees the PUK is entitled to have a role in the Security Council.
The PUK appears to be flexible on taking the position of parliament speaker, which is being filled temporarily by the KDP’s Vala Fared, but is interested in the deputy president post.
Fared has called for the parliament to convene on Tuesday. The PUK has so far not attended