Iraqi Kurdish parties collide over four ministries posts in Iraq's new gov't
As Iraq's Prime Minister-designate Mohammad Shia al-Sudani accelerates his efforts to present the names of his cabinet to the parliament soon, Iraqi Kurds have yet to settle their differences over four ministries' posts.
Abdul Latif Rashid, the Iraq president, on 13 October named al-Sudani as prime minister which ended a year of political gridlock since the elections. Sudani has one month to present his cabinet to the parliament to vote, either by Tuesday or by the next week.
The two main ruling parties in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and its rival, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), eye four ministries in Sudani's cabinet, including one of the two sovereign ministries of foreign affairs or the finance ministry.
While the KDP says it has the right to fill at least three ministries according to its electoral entitlement, the PUK says it has the right to run two ministries.
"We as Kurds have the share of four ministries that should be distributed among KDP and PUK Considering our election entitlement, we as the KDP should run three ministries, and the fourth ministry will go to PUK since we have 31 seats in the Iraqi parliament and the PUK has 18 seats," Najwa Kakayee, Iraqi lawmaker from the KDP, told The New Arab during a phone interview.
"Settling any disagreements on distributing the ministries is related to the decisions by the leadership of both parties, if they agree we as lawmakers have no issue in voting for the candidates," Kakayee added.
Iraq's presidency, the second deputy speaker of parliament, and several ministries in the Iraqi federal government are allocated to Kurds in the proportional (Muhasasa) representation system that distributes power among Iraq's Sunni, Shia, Kurdish and other ethno-sectarian communities since the US-led invasion and occupation of the country in 2003.
"The Iraqi president post is the share of the PUK, meanwhile the post of Kirkuk's governor should be allocated for the KDP," Kakayee said. "There are ongoing negotiations on appointing a new governor for Kirkuk [replacing acting governor Rakan Saed al-Jibury]. What is vital for us is that the next governor should be a person to be able to serve all components and parties in Kirkuk."
In the past, the KDP had run the ministries of foreign affairs, finance, reconstruction, and migration and displacement while the PUK had control of the ministries of justice and migration and displacement.
Masoud Haider, an advisor to Masoud Barzani, president of KDP, told Rudaw Kurdish broadcaster that Barzani would elect the nominees to the ministries and the KDP might give one ministry to the PUK.
Karwan Ali Yarwaise, an Iraqi lawmaker from the PUK, has told his party's formal media outlet that the party has the share to run two ministries in the new Iraqi government.
Mahma Khalil, KDP's lawmaker, confirmed to The New Arab that the KDP will run the foreign ministry again.