Middle East

Iraq’s Kurdish region appoints interim assembly speaker

Kurdistan Democratic Party candidate handily wins election for post

Maımaıtımıng Yılıxıatı   | 18.02.2019
Iraq’s Kurdish region appoints interim assembly speaker

By Mazin Majeed Asaad Baqal

ERBIL, Iraq

Northern Iraq’s Kurdish region on Monday elected a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) as interim speaker of the Erbil-based Kurdish parliament.

Vala Ferid won the endorsement of 64 out of 76 parliamentarians, while her competitor, Sipan Salim of the New Generation Movement, clinched only eight.

MPs representing the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the region’s second largest political party, walked out of Monday’s session after the KDP turned down their request for the appointment of a PUK member to the governorship of Kirkuk.

In late 2017, Iraqi federal forces moved into several parts of Iraq disputed between Baghdad and the Kurdish region, including oil-rich Kirkuk.

The deployments followed an illegitimate referendum on Kurdish regional independence that had been widely condemned by many states of the region.

Last week, the KDP and the PUK tentatively agreed on the outlines of the next Kurdish regional government.

The Erbil-based KDP and the Sulaymaniyah-based PUK dominated Kurdish parliamentary polls last September, winning 45 and 21 percent of the vote respectively.

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