Erbil, Asharq Al-Awsat—Iraqi Kurdistan’s third-largest political party will nominate the son of the Iraqi president as the Kurdistan Regional Government’s deputy prime minister, as the country remains in deadlock over the formation of a new government, a source close to the party told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) source said that the nomination of Qubad Talabani, son of Iraq’s President Jalal Talabani, came as the PUK agreed to cede the post of Speaker of Parliament to Gorran (the Movement for Change), which displaced it as Kurdistan’s second political party in the last parliamentary elections.
The PUK, which came third in the September parliamentary elections after Gorran and the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), has been accused of obstructing the formation of the new government.
“Talks over the formation of the Kurdistan government will soon come to an end, and we hope that the final round of negotiations will begin next week,” the source said.
It has been suggested that Kurdistan’s prime minister-designate, Nechervan Barzani, will appoint three deputies: one from his own KDP and one each from the PUK and Gorran.
The source said this suggestion seeks to secure consensus among “all political sides” over the formation of the new government.
This government formula will be discussed at the next round of negotiations, which is set to be the last.
“If an agreement is reached, three deputies will be nominated. Otherwise, the situation will remain the same with one deputy from the PUK,” the source told Asharq Al-Awsat.
“During the last round of talks, the PUK insisted on being granted the post of deputy prime minister in order to prove to its supporters that it is still a strong party in power,” the source added.
Speaking exclusively to Asharq Al-Awsat, the former speaker of Kurdistan’s National Assembly, Adnan Al-Mufti, said that the “new political situation” created by the results of the last parliamentary elections is the “reason behind the delay in the formation of the new government.”
When asked about the current political situation in Kurdistan, Mufti cited the “desire of the parties that were in the opposition to participate in the [new] government.”