April 22, 2019 / 11:39 PM
Delay of government formation normal: Nechirvan Barzani

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said on Monday, April 22, that the continued delay in the formation of the new cabinet is “normal.”

Speaking during a ceremony to pay homage to Kurdish historian Kalimulla Tawahudi in Erbil, Barzani said that the political parties needed more time to reach an agreement.

 “More time should be given to the parties…This delay is normal as the parties need to have time to resolve the issues,” he added.

Barzani called on the parties to participate in the new cabinet “seriously” and added that efforts would be made to avoid further tension during the tenure of the new government, NRT reported.

204 days have been passed since voters in the Kurdistan Region went to the polls to elect their members of parliament.

Talks between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and the Change Movement (Gorran) have been ongoing since December. The current stumbling block is related to the vice presidency.

Earlier this month, PUK officials began objecting to the vice presidency being held by a Gorran official because it felt that the latter party should not have responsibility over security policy and Peshmerga reform.

Gorran had been promised the post by the KDP in the political agreement between the two in February.

The idea was floated that a second vice presidency be created. On April 15, Voice of America published an interview with PUK Politburo member Saadi Ahmed Pira, who hinted that the matter had been settled and that the PUK would hold the first vice president post.

Subsequent comments by party spokesperson Latif Sheikh Omer appeared to suggest the party is no longer interested in creating a second position, but will instead demand the single position for itself.

For its part, Gorran has said that the KDP and the PUK should not have sole responsibility for security affairs, suggesting that it is willing to give up the vice presidency in exchange for the Peshmerga Affairs Ministry.

The KDP has nominated current Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani as its candidate for the presidency.

Reporter’s code: 50101