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PUK wants deputy premier post, or vows not to participate in KRG

By Nawzad Mahmoud 29/10/2018
PUK headquarters in Erbil File photo: Rudaw TV
PUK headquarters in Erbil File photo: Rudaw TV

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) wants to become a "genuine partner" with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in the next government with the former saying it has delivered its concerns to the latter that it does not accept to be dealt with in accordance with its seats.


"We have told the KDP that, if we are not dealt with as a second party, we will not take part in the government,"  said a PUK Leadership Council member who preferred to remain anonymous.


KDP Leadership Council member Aras Haso Mirkhan said on Monday the first party to visit for the government formation will be the PUK.


The PUK emerged from the parliamentary election September 30 election with the second-most seats, 21 – up from 18 in the last parliament while the KDP increased from 38 to 45.


Once the judicial council approves the election results, the largest parties will begin talks to assemble the new government.


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 a mechanism for government formation.


PUK Leadership Council member Adnan Hama Mina said government formation talks will start soon.


"The PUK is the second largest party and an influential party in the political landscape and whoever aims to have peace in the next four years, must bear in mind the PUK's serious involvement in the government," Mina 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 beat out the KDP's choice of Fuad Hussein in an open vote by Iraqi MPs.


Now that forming the KRG cabinet in Erbil is nearing, both sides intend to improve relations and work together.


Mina did say his party and the KDP enjoy some common points.


"Our problems with the KDP brothers are not big and we can reach an agreement," he said.


He added: "KDP and PUK coordination and cooperation will guarantee security and peace in Kurdistan we expect good talks to begin in the coming days.”


Since the 1991 uprising, except during the civil war, no government has been formed without the KDP and PUK. Even during eighth cabinet — when the Change Movement (Gorran) obtained 24 seats to the PUK’s 18 — the latter did not accept the post of the deputy prime minister going to Gorran.


The PUK understands that the KDP does not want to out the Change Movement in the new cabinet.


Many senior PUK members do not want their party accept the speaker of the parliament post, in place of deputy speaker going to Gorran.


"The Change Movement has achieved half the PUK seats and that the PUK must not be given the post of the speaker of parliament and the deputy premier go to Gorran," said another PUK leader.


The PUK leader described the next four years of parliamentary work as "decisive and instrumental."


"A set of important laws will be worked on in the next four years such as the KRG presidency law, reform law, and the Kurdistan Region's constitution. The KDP possesses many seats and whatever party assumes the speaker post will face mounting criticism."


In the previous cabinet, the PUK held the posts of deputy premier, health ministry, reconstruction and housing ministry, martyrs ministry and culture ministry. The PUK believes if the Change Movement and minorities take part in the government , they will have less posts.


A Change Movement member told Rudaw that there is call from many among the party to not take part in the government, but the top leaders think otherwise.


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."


The KDP is 11 seats shy of an absolute majority in the unicameral legislature in Erbil. The previous parliament was largely ineffective with opposition parties sidelined. As government formation continues the distribution of ministries will be a focus.


Qubad Talabani of the PUK is the current deputy PM. Nechirvan Barzani of the KDP is the PM. Talabani received the most votes among list leaders, while the KDP whose list was headed by Hemin Hawrami received the most seats as a party.


Updated at 11:58 a.m.


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Muraz Adzhoev | 29/10/2018
PUK has been transformed to PUNI - “Patriotic Union of northern Iraq”, and is not a political force of the Kurdistan Region and of the sovereignly self-determined People of Southern Kurdistan. TRAITORS-WEREWOLVES.
| 29/10/2018
If An agreement has been broken and not honoured by the Talabani family, then why do they expect others to continue to the breached Agreement. All gloves off and A breach of any agreement remains to be a breach. Never trust a two faced snake
Muraz Adzhoev | 29/10/2018
Only the national-patriotic political front for reintegration and independence of Southern Kurdistan led by the KDP can, must represent the sovereign power of the Kurdistan Region on bilateral and multilateral levels of the international relations. Erbil is the capital city of reintegrated and independent Southern Kurdistan, some inalienable parts of which has been criminally occupied by pro-Iranian regime’s Iraqi military forces and their “improvised lured dogs”.
love Peshmerga, Ak USA | 29/10/2018
Here we go again with PUK. they make me sick in my stomach every time i hear the word PUK. when will the kurds realize that PUK = Iraq and Iran regime. They have never and will never work on behalf of Kurds and Kurdistan.
Gunda mayi | 29/10/2018
The best thing that could happen to krg let them go don’t let them get the deputy prime minster post they don’t deserve any post in the Kurdistan region! They are a group who created its self by underming the true Kurdish agenda and sovereignty of the Kurdish people by being closely tied to Iran and Iraq! This is a jahash of a group who does belong to the Kurdish nation!
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