Nechirvan Barzani Nominated as Iraqi Kurdistan President
Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani was nominated Monday by Iraq’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) to succeed his uncle Masoud Barzani as president of Iraqi Kurdistan.
Masoud Barzani’s son Masrour was also nominated as premier of the regional government.
Masrour Barzani is currently Iraqi Kurdistan’s security chief. Both Masrour and Nechirvan have occupied senior roles within the KRG throughout the last decade.
With 45 of 111 seats, the KDP is the biggest party in the Kurdish assembly after September’s regional election but 11 shy of an outright majority, and will have to govern in coalition.
Veteran Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani, still the head of the KDP, stepped down after 12 years as regional president in November 2017, less than a month after helming a referendum on Kurdish independence that backfired and triggered a crisis for Iraq’s Kurds.
The post has remained vacant ever since. The president’s powers were divided between the prime minister, parliament and the judiciary in a makeshift arrangement, leaving the future of the presidency uncertain.
Relations with the previous Iraqi administration of prime minister Haider al-Abadi were strained by the referendum. But with a new Iraqi government in place, led by Adel Abdul-Mahdi, Erbil and Baghdad have in recent weeks signaled a willingness to work together.