By Rudaw 36 minutes ago
Masrour Barzani (left) and Nechirvan Barzani (middle) attend a party rally ahead of the election in September 2018 in Erbil, Kurdistan Region. Photo: Rudaw TV
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) decided to nominate Nechirvan Barzani to become president of the Kurdistan Region and Masrour Barzani to be prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Party spokesperson Mahmoud Mohammed made the announcement to reporters in Erbil on Monday after a meeting of the leadership council.
“In the previous meeting of the politburo and today some recommendations were made and later approved. The recommendations consist of the candidacy of Nechirvan Barzani for the President of the Region,” said Mohammed.
Nechirvan Barzani is the incumbent prime minister of the KRG which is forming a new government following a parliamentary election on September 30.
The post of presidency of the Kurdistan Region has been suspended following former President Masoud Barzani’s end of term on November 1, 2017.
“This post has to be re-activated very well and a strong and experienced person shall take the responsibility so that he can keep the situation under control and so that it [the position] can be a place to bring together both the government and other institutions in order to face all possibilities and challenges facing Kurdistan,” said Mohammed.
Chiefly, the presidency commanded the Kurdistan Region’s security forces including the Peshmerga. The presidency’s powers, including security command, were delegated to the prime ministry by the previous parliament.
The KDP won the election with 45 seats, just 11 shy of an absolute majority. It would like to retain the prime ministry.
“For the position of the Prime Minister Masrour Barzani has been recommended. This subject was approved by the politburo and leadership council following discussions and consultancy. These recommendations were finalized in order to discuss this subject with other parties,” said Mohammed.
Masrour Barzani is currently the head of the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC).
Retaking its position as the second-largest party in the KRG, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) won 21 seats. It currently holds the post of deputy prime minster with Qubad Talabani, who won more votes than any other list leader in the election.
Talabani has not been sworn in as a member of parliament, leading many to believe he will seek another high position in government or the presidency.
The KDP spokesperson said that they have not discussed the structure of the government in their meetings.
Some smaller parties like the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) and New Generation have said they will not participate in a KDP-PUK ruled government.
In today’s KDP leadership council. Unanimously nominated @PMBarzani for the Kurdistan Region Presidncy and @masrour_barzani for the KRG Prime Minister. pic.twitter.com/Z0zeTUee8j
— Hemin Hawrami (@heminhawrami) December 3, 2018
For now, they have formed a negotiations committee which consists of senior KDP members, including: Azad Barwari, Hoshyar Zebari, Jaafar Iminiki, Hemin Hawrami, Firsat Sofi and Mahmoud Mohammed. It could change in the future.
“We will discuss both positions with other parties as one package,” said Mohammed of his cadre that includes Hawrami, the head of the KDP bloc in the Kurdistan Region parliament.
The KDP and PUK are historically the two largest and parties in the Kurdistan Region and their gains were solidified by the electorate.
Mohammed predicts the formation of the next cabinet to go smoothly.