Erbil, Asharq Al-Awsat—Following weeks of negotiations, the new Kurdistan Region Government (KRG), led by prime minister-designate Nechervan Barzani, could be announced as early as next week.
A senior member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) informed Asharq Al-Awsat: “An agreement was reached four days ago between the major sides regarding the division of portfolios. There are hopes that this agreement will be announced at the next, final round of negotiations scheduled for next week.”
The KDP official, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, confirmed: “An agreement was reached between the two main negotiating parties about the division of power in Kurdistan four days ago. This is based on distributing ministerial portfolios according to the election results in a way that satisfies all parties and embodies the principles of real partnership in the next government, making this a true national unity government.”
The prospective government formation will see three deputy prime ministers being appointed: one each for Kurdistan’s main political parties, the KDP, the Goran Movement for Change and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). In addition to this, the post of speaker of parliament would go to the PUK and the post of deputy parliamentary speaker to the Islamic Union.
The source added: “As for the ministerial portfolios, they have been agreed to be distributed as follows: 4 ministries to the Goran Movement for Change, including the interior and finance ministries, 4 ministries to the KDP, including the ministries of natural resources, municipalities, and education, and two ministries to the PUK.”
However the KDP, which came first in last year’s parliamentary election, has subsequently agreed to bequeath one of its ministerial portfolios to the PUK, who have been supplemented as Kurdistan’s second party by Goran.
“Therefore, both the PUK and KDP will have control of three ministries,” the KDP source said.
“The remaining nine ministries will be distributed among the other parties and the Turkmen and Christian communities,” he added.
However, the Goran had previously rejected the idea of additional deputy prime minister posts being created to appease Kurdistan’s political forces.
A senior Goran official, also speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity given the sensitive nature of the negotiations, denied that an agreement has been reached.
“We continue to hold to the position that we announced at the beginning of the negotiations. We said that we would not, under any circumstances, accept three deputy prime ministers, and so we hold to this position,” the source said.
Asharq Al-Awsat has previously reported that the PUK could seek to nominate Qubad Talabani, son of Iraq’s President Jalal Talabani, as its deputy prime minister.