PUK says it won't participate in meeting for electing Iraqi president
A leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) said: "Relations between the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) are still suspended and so far no agreement has been reached between the two sides to meet and talk."

Ghias Sorchi told Al-Ma'alumeh News Agency that the position of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and its allies, including the coordination framework over boycotting the Wednesday's parliament session for the election of the President of Iraq, is still valid and they will not participate in the meeting

Sorchi added: The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan has not held any meetings or talks with any of the political movements, including the Kurdistan Democratic Party.

 

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) co-Leader Bafel Talabani and Iraq’s Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr spoke by telephone on Monday, according to Talabani’s office.

Talabani received a phone call from Sadr to discuss the political situation in Iraq, his office said in a statement.

The two sides discussed the formation of a new Iraqi government, solutions to issues and mechanisms to end the “political stalemate”, the statement read.

They agreed to continue talks in an effort to end the current situation which Iraq is facing, the statement said.

According to Esta Media Network the phone call came after the Iraqi parliament failed on Saturday to elect a new president due to a lack quorum.

Only 202 members of parliament out of 329 were present, which is less than the necessary two-thirds quorum needed to choose a new president for the mostly ceremonial post, while 126 lawmakers boycotted the session.

The vote on the president was postponed to Wednesday.

The delay prolongs a bitter deadlock in Iraqi politics months after an October general election from which Sadr emerged the biggest winner, with his Shia rivals receiving a hammering at the polls.

Under a power-sharing system designed to avoid sectarian conflict, Iraq’s president is a Kurd, its prime minister a Shia and its parliament speaker a Sunni.

Sadr has vowed to push through what he calls a “national majority” government, has formed a coalition with the Sunni Taqaddum party led by Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in an attempt to go ahead with his plans.

Other Shia parties within the Coordination Framework want to form a consensus government, which Sadr opposes.

The disagreements between Iraqi and Kurdish parties have led to a political stalemate, which senior officials call for an end to it.

On Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and Halbousi called for an end to the political stalemate in the country.

Iraqi President Barham Salih, who is running for a second term in office, also urged the political parties on Saturday to participate in “serious and effective dialogue to get out of the current crisis without delay”.

“The continuation of the political stalemate amid the serious challenges facing the country is unacceptable,” he said.

 

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