Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Kurdistan Parliament to Elect Speaker, Deputies

Kurdistan Parliament to Elect Speaker, Deputies

Monday, 18 February, 2019 - 07:45
Iraqi Kurdish men take part in a rally calling for deferment of independence referendum on 9 September 2017. AFP
Erbil - Ehsan Aziz

Iraq's Kurdish parliament is set to convene on Monday to elects its speaker and deputies and break its months-long political deadlock.

The Kurdistan Region has a unicameral legislature with 111 seats.

After the September 30 regional election, parliament held its first session on November 6, when deputies only took the oath of office.

Since then, parliamentary blocs in the Kurdistan Region have failed to elect a speaker and its deputies due to differences between the three main parties; the KDP, which won 45 seats, the PUK that has 21 lawmakers and the Change Movement (Gorran), which is represented by 12 MPs.

The legislature will convene on Monday in the presence of all parliamentary blocs, except the PUK whose leaders and deputies warned on Sunday from holding a session and electing the assembly speaker and deputies in the bloc’s absence.

PUK lawmaker Jamal Hawiz told Asharq Al-Awsat that his party has not yet decided on its participation in Monday’s session.

“We are still waiting for a positive answer from the KDP on our demands as a whole package,” Hawiz said.

The PUK deputy said if the Kurdistan Democratic Party fails to answer the party’s demands, then “we will not attend the session and therefore it would be difficult, even impossible to form a new cabinet in the absence of our party.”

The PUK has differences with the KDP on power-sharing and on the governor of the disputed province of Kirkuk.

KDP lawmaker Omed Khoshnaw said, however, that the parliamentary session would be held on time. “There are no reasons for its delay,” Khoshnaw said.

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