December 6, 2018 / 03:44 PM
KDP working against PUK in Iraqi government: spokesman

A leading member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) has accused the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of working to thwart the appointment of PUK officials to posts in the Iraqi government.

The KDP has prevented the PUK from securing the position of justice minister, in retaliation for the failure of the two parties to reach a deal over the presidency, PUK spokesperson Saadi Ahmed Pira said in an interview with the Voice of America which was published on Thursday, December 6.

 “We were told in Baghdad that KDP is a barrier. The KDP doesn’t care if the position was given to Gorran, the Kurdistan Islamic Union, or the Kurdistan Islamic Group, just not the PUK,” Ahmed Pira said.

On Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi nominated Dara Nuradin as his candidate for the justice minister. According to a source familiar with ongoing discussions between the leaders of the three branches of the central government, the PUK wants Khalid Shwani to be nominated instead and has petitioned the prime minister to make the switch.

Ahmed Pira added that the PUK is determined to secure a ministry in the Abdul Mahdi’s cabinet, NRT reported.

The presidency is traditionally held by a Kurd and a PUK official has held the post since 2005. This round, the KDP sought to take the position for itself, but talks to select a jointly-supported nominee failed and the two parties each nominated a candidate for the post.

The PUK's Barham Salih was elected president on October 2 and the KDP nominee, Faud Hussein, was later approved as minister of finance.

Abdul Mahdi announced his latest batch of nominations on Monday evening and parliament then met to consider those choices on Tuesday, but the session was marred by boycotts and a scuffle between members.

In the end, the vote was provisionally put off until Thursday because parliament could not achieve quorum.

Reporter’s code: 50101