50-50 era is past, reform and change are coming: Barzani

12-12-2018 11:54
Barzani says election promises will be fulfilled. Photograph: Peregraf




The leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Masoud Barzani, said the tradition of 50-50 is now abolished, and a strong government will bring about change at all levels in the Kurdistan region.


The reference of 50-50 is used to describe a power-sharing arrangement which existed between the KDP and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), where posts and authorities were equally distributed between the two parties.


Barzani made these statements when a meeting between Gorran and KDP on the government formation was already in place, only a day after a similar meeting had taken place between KDP and PUK.


KDP, with 45 out of 111 seats of parliament, won the parliamentary election on the 30th of September.


During a speech on Wednesday, 12 December, 2018 in Duhok, on the anniversary of Lomana epic, a Kurdish resistance battle against the Iraqi regime in 1961, Barzani said, "As we promised, if KDP emerged as winner in the elections, we would go with reform and change." He added, "Now we have the largest parliamentary bloc, and we'll fulfil the promise."


Discussions with other parties are ongoing to commit for an agreement where such goals shall be materialized, he said.


He urged his party not to be arrogant, "However, 50-50 and the associated obstacles are no longer present," he added, "KDP does not adhere to the way that government was formed in the past."


He reiterated that "great reforms" will be conducted on all levels, without discussing the details.


Gorran and KDP discussed strengthening mutual relations, in addition to enhancing the relations with the federal government and the neighbouring countries. The two parties also discussed Kirkuk and the disputed areas.


Concerning the government formation process, the two parties said in a joint statement that "unified line" is necessary for the people, along with a reform to tackle the challenges.


A similar discussion took place between KDP and PUK, as they formed a committee to devise a new agreement between them.


Although KDP could easily validate the new cabinet through the absolute majority inside parliament, the actual situation could prove to be risky, due to the remnants of dual administration. A stable government could not be formed without PUK and Gorran.


While PUK has been an essential element inside the cabinets of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) since 1992, Gorran has started as opposition in 2009 and has later joined the government in 2014.


PUK has officially decided to take part in the new cabinet; the New Generation [8 seats], the Kurdistan Islamic Union [5 seats] and the Communist Party [one seat] have decided to become the opposition. However, Gorran [12 seats], and Kurdistan Islamic Group [7 seats] have not taken a stand yet.