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Kurdistan Christians call for extending Masoud Barzani’s presidency

By Rudaw 17/8/2015
Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani. Photo: Rudaw.
Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani. Photo: Rudaw.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Select representatives of the Christian community in the Kurdistan region have called on Kurdistan political parties to reach a consensus regarding the presidency, and to support current President Masoud Barzani in continuing in the role.
This came in a joint statement on Monday from the Archdioceses of Mosul, Kirkuk and Erbil and the Assyrian, Orthodox and Chaldean Catholic communities. In the absence of a regional constitution to regulate the term length, the question of whether Barzani should stay past his term or leave has polarized the parliament and Kurdish society. Earlier on Sunday, Barzani called on the Kurdistan Parliament in Erbil to convene and come to an agreement regarding his presidency before Thursday, August 20, when the leader’s term in office will officially end.  
"We, as Christians, believe in the supremacy of the law and serve the community and the country. Through past experiences, it has become clear for us that President Barzani is a leading factor behind the Kurdistan region's peace and stability. Therefore, we as the representatives of Kurdistan’s Christians, including all elements, express our support for extending the Barzani presidency term. Because, at this time, the Kurdistan region is going through a stage of hardship and is in a fight against ISIS. In this observation, again we see the decisive role of Barzani in leading the Peshmerga against ISIS. With Barzani remaining in power, he will restore our lands and rights from ISIS," read the statement.
The statement also called for Christians and other religious minorities to be included in the constitutional drafting committee. The Kurdistan Parliament is currently reviewing a draft of a regional constitution that will be put to referendum after it is ratified.
Supporters of Barzani say given the current conditions in Iraq and the ongoing war with the Islamic State, the president should continue his term until the region and country are able to hold elections.
Critics have dismissed this argument however, claiming the parliament could elect a new president despite the war with ISIS along Kurdish borders.  
Lawmakers of Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which is the largest faction in the parliament with 38 seats out of 111, walked out of a voting session last month in protest against parliament’s alleged resistance to extending Barzani’s presidency.


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Dead | 17/8/2015
Turkey loves Barzani. Becouse they can control him, they use him to justify their attacks on kurds. Becouse a kurdish leader is on their side. They have been using him to create hatred between Bakur and Basur, and they have used him to build trenches and dig walls between Rojava and basur. Barzani image is ruined for life, a disgrace to his father who was an hero.
Logic | 17/8/2015
Dead please do us a favor. Next time you visit Rudaw dont write here. Let the adult people handle it. Its obvious that ur knowledge in politics are 0 ZERO NADA !! The End!
David Wade | 17/8/2015
I love how people couldn't retort with facts and only offer thumbs down. That is the tactic of someone who lost a debate and can't engage in discourse. This is a reality that Barzani cares more about his bank accounts than spending some of his political capital. Unlike his father, Masoud has never actually fought. He assumed power much like Bashar assumed power from his daddy. Can any of you pro KDP supported refute the facts that DEAD laid out? I doubt it. I expect some sophomoric response void of facts and laden with deflection to change the conversation from the fact Barzani has done the aforementioned things.
ܣܗܕܐ ܝܘܢܢ
ܣܗܕܐ ܝܘܢܢ | 17/8/2015
my relatives in Dohuk and Zakho never once mentioned anything about extending Barzani's presidency; this article is kinda fishy...
Muraz Adzhoev | 17/8/2015
The Parliament has absolutely no and any right to elect the president. The Parliament is obliged to respect and responsibly follow only currently active and in-force laws. Otherwise the Parliament becomes illegal entity with no sovereign power of the people. According to the law the acting President still has been serving his first term (2009-2013), which was prolonged up to 2015. The period of 2005-2009 he had served as the president elected by the Parliament, not by the people as it is required by the law nowadays. The Parliament has no and any right to prevent the next general presidential elections and participation of the President in it to be elected and serve his second term. But it would be better and reasonable to extend the current term to conduct referendum on statehood, constitution and president of Southern Kurdistan altogether as soon as possible. The so called "political crisis" in Kurdistan is nothing, but a fake initiated by PUK and others.

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