(Center) Acting PUK leader Kosrat Rasul Ali and Iraqi President Barham Salih participate in a meeting of the PUK politburo, October 28, 2018. Photo: PUK / Rudaw video
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) must hold talks with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and other parties to resolve ongoing tensions and build a government that “serves the people”, the party said Sunday.
Following a meeting in Sulaimani, attended by the party’s acting leader Kosrat Rasul Ali and second deputy secretary general Barham Salih, the PUK politburo released a statement claiming it has a “clear roadmap” for the Kurdistan Region.
“The PUK politburo in the meeting emphasized that it has a clear roadmap to protect the entity of the Kurdistan Region, its achievements, and to serve the people of the Kurdistan Region,” the statement read.
The best mechanism to achieve this is to hold “responsible talks between the PUK and the KDP and other political parties of Kurdistan, to form the new cabinet,” it added.
The party will now “lay the groundwork for talks to kick off”.
The PUK, which emerged from the Region’s September 30 election as the second largest party with 21 seats – up from 18 in the last parliament – also discussed the political atmosphere in Iraq and the latest regional dynamics.
“The meeting stressed the need for a genuine partnership in the governance system and that the constitution must be implemented,” the PUK said.
Once the judicial council approves the election results, the largest parties will begin talks to assemble the new government.
The PUK says it expects to obtain key posts in the new government. However, a KDP leadership member has said the parties will receive posts which reflect their weight in parliament.
The PUK has formed a committee for government formation talks. Omer Fatah, a top politburo member, will lead the PUK team. He said no agreement has been reached for the government formation mechanism.
PUK spokesperson Saadi Ahmed Pira said the party will definitely obtain sovereign ministerial positions.
“Undoubtedly, the PUK will have shares in the vast majority of the posts such as the leading positions, deputy leaders, sovereign ministerial such as interior, oil, finance and Peshmerga,” he said.
The distribution of posts in Baghdad created rifts between the PUK and KDP after both parties presented separate candidates for top jobs – none more than the presidency. The PUK’s Barham Salih defeated the KDP’s Fuad Hussein in an open vote of Iraqi MPs.
Now that the question of forming the KRG cabinet in Erbil nears, both sides intend to improve relations and work together.
The KDP says it wants all parties involved in the next government, with each receiving posts reflecting their share of seats.
“In the past, we used to adhere to the strategic alliances between us and the political parties, particularly the KDP-PUK strategic alliance agreement,” said Ali Hussein, a KDP leadership member. “But now, we are considering the election shares and the common points between the KDP and those parties seeking to take part in the government.”