Asharq Al-Awsat, London – Dr. Fuad Maasoum, and a member of the Kurdish coalition taking part in discussions to form the upcoming government, indicated that a meeting was held on Wednesday with the United Iraqi Alliance, the Shiaa coalition led by Abdul Aziz al Hakim. The two sides discussed “several ideas and a number of suggestions regarding the make-up of the new government”, he said. Further discussions are scheduled to take place on Sunday.
In an interview with Asharq al Awsat, the high ranking official in the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, led by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, said, “We agreed that a government plan should be discussed by all sides, agreed upon and followed. It is important that “all political groups which won in the last elections should take part. No Iraqi side should be sidelined since the current situation calls for the participation of all Iraqi factions. The principle, which the political party that obtains two-thirds of the vote forms the government, should be followed.”
With the Shiaa coalition expected to announce their candidate for premiership on Saturday, Maasoum predicted “the meeting [of the two groups] the following day will bring about important results”, hinting that Dr. Adel Abdul Mahdi will be their choice for Prime Minister. “We are awaiting the official and final decision of the UIA in this regard. We respect the alliance’s decision to select the candidate they wish to head the new government,” he said.
The Kurdish leader stressed it was important that all sides agreed to take part in the new government on condition that “a plan be put forward and discussed. All opinions should be heard. The UIA should present a policy paper for the upcoming government.”
“Conditions and red lines have not featured in the discussions and we did not hear such terminology in our meetings with the Alliance. We will not use such terms in our talks with other political groups; there are no pre-conditions and no red lines in the discussions. All ideas are open for discussion,” Maasoum added.
As soon as a new government is formed, “the permanent Iraqi constitution will be implemented” instead of the current Law of Administration set by the Governing Council and which did not define a time limit to form a new government. The constitution specified a 15 day limit for parliament to convene and elect a president and 15 days to form a government after the President and his deputies are chosen and a Prime Minister is selected to form a government,” the Kurdish leader said.