Iraqi parliament speaker arrives in Kurdistan to discuss govt formation

A general view shows the Citadel of Erbil in Erbil, Iraq April 23, 2017. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari

Baghdad ( Iraqi parliament speaker Mohamed al-Halbousi arrived Saturday to Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s capital, Erbil, to discuss efforts to form the new government, Iraqi media reported.

Baghdad Today said Halbousi, along with his second deputy, Bashir al-Haddad, headed a parliamentary delegation to Erbil. It said Halbousi is scheduled to meet with former Kurdish president and Kurdistan Democratic Party leader, Masud Barzani, to discuss a range of critical issues, including the formation of the next Iraqi government and the fulfilling of the country’s presidency post.

Based on a political agreement adopted since the ouster of late leader Saddam Hussein, Kurds assume Iraq’s presidency, Sunnis are entitled to parliament speaker, and Shias hold the prime minister’s office.

Iraq parliament elections, the first since the defeat of Islamic State militants, were held last May amid judicial challenges that prompted a recount of votes. Each of the winning political alliances had claimed securing the majority required to form the next cabinet.

Political powers continue negotiations on the best formation of the next cabinet.

Recent reports said Kurdish political groups had agreed on Barham Saleh, a former prime minister of Kurdistan, to be Iraq’s next president. The new president is scheduled to be approved by parliament on September 25th.


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