BAGHDAD – The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), led by Massoud Barzani, is working hard to ensure that his candidate for the post of President of the Republic of Iraq has sufficient support in the Shiite political circles, while the uncertainty continues about the candidate for prime minister in the new cab.
Barzani, the son of his brother, the head of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Najran Barzani, was sent to Baghdad and then Najaf to meet religious and political leaders, hoping to gain support for Fadhil Mirrani, candidate of the Kurdistan Democratic Party for the post of president.
Barzani met in Baghdad with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, the leader of the coalition of state law Nuri al-Maliki and the leader of the National List, Iyad Allawi and the leader of the wisdom movement Ammar al-Hakim and the leader of the Fatah alliance Hadi al-Amiri, before going to Najaf, to meet with the leader of the Sadrist movement Moqtada al-Sadr.
It was not clear whether Barzani achieved his goals of this tour, in light of the great enthusiasm shown by the Shiite political circles to nominate Barham Saleh for the post of President of the Republic, contrary to the desire of the Kurdistan Democratic Party.
Saleh returned to the ranks of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, which was founded and headed for years by the late Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, after a split due to differences over the alliance with the Barzani party.
Talabani’s party stipulated Barham Saleh, the withdrawal from the coalition of democracy and justice, which he heads in the city of Sulaymaniyah, and return to the National Union for his candidacy for the post of President of the Republic, replacing Fuad Masum.
But the Barzani Party says that the presidency is within the entitlement to elections in this session, after what remained during the last three sessions of the National Union, which denies the latter.
Najibran Barzani’s visit to Baghdad did not interest Talabani’s party, which he described as a breach of the political agreement between the two parties and an attempt to build individual understandings that would weaken the Kurds’ position in Baghdad. The Patriotic Union confirmed that it is continuing to complete the legal procedures for the nomination of Saleh to the post of President of the Republic, pursuant to the agreement signed years ago with Barzani party.
Barzani began his visit to Baghdad, hours after he received in Erbil, the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mohammed Halbusi. Al-Halbusi arrived at his position through a deal that Barzani himself participated in during the second session of the elected Iraqi parliament.
According to informed political sources in Baghdad for the “Arabs”, “Halbusi confirmed in Erbil, his commitment to support Barzani candidate for the post of President of the Republic, at the expense of Barham Saleh.”
Barzani is trying to postpone the vote on the President of the Republic beyond the 30th of this month, where the date of the provincial parliament elections, which the Kurdistan Democratic Party hopes to win the majority of seats, to modify his negotiating with other Kurdish forces, especially the Talabani party.
Observers say that the Shiite political forces take the issue of choosing a president, seriously, although it is the share of the Kurds, according to the formula of sharing positions in Iraq, because of the role that plays in naming the new prime minister.
According to the constitution, the elected President of the Republic, the candidate of the largest bloc to form a government. Kurdish consensus can play a role in swaying one Shiite candidate over another for the post of new prime minister. Sources say “Arabs”, Barzani links the support of the Shiite candidate for the presidency, and support the Kurds to the new prime minister.
It seems that the Kurdish position will not be sufficient to move the Shiite negotiations to choose the prime minister, as there appear to be considerable differences on this post.
Last week, Muqtada al-Sadr, the leading Shi’ite cleric, adopted the nomination of Adel Abdul Mahdi as prime minister, but close associates denied it.
The Dawa Party has tried to exploit internal Shiite differences over the candidate to form a government, starting from plans to settle the major differences between his secretary-general Nuri al-Maliki and his political bureau chief Haider al-Abadi.
Observers say that “internal Shiite differences over the post of prime minister are still so large that the Dawa party or other Shiite parties can not benefit from it.”
The sources say that “the deep Shiite differences on the position linked to the concerns of the parties themselves, which fears that it is used to liquidate its influence,” explaining that “this situation allows external parties to intervene, especially Iran, as a sponsor of Shiite political agreements.”
So far, the United States has not tried to influence this issue, while Shi’ite politicians believe that Washington is monitoring the developments of the negotiations, and will not hesitate to intervene in the event of the link of nomination to an Iraqi figure subject to Tehran.