Iraq's presidency: smaller blocs and independent MPs to stand in the middle of the parliament hall
Shafaq News/ It seems that the fierce disagreement between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) has propagated, though with less intensity, outside the orbits of the two leading parties in the Kurdistan Region.
The Iraqi parliament will hold a vote to determine who will succeed the incumbent president of the Republic, Barham Salih, on February 7th.
Endorsed by the PUK, Salih will be running for a second term in office. However, the Kurdistan Democratic Party, which secured 31 seats in the recent parliamentary election-well ahead of the PUK's 18, has put forth the name of Hoshyar Zebari, a member of the KDP's Politburo and Iraq's former Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party says that the PUK opted to nominate Salih without the approval of the other Kurdish forces. The PUK, on the other hand, accuses the KDP of holding agreements that do not serve the interests of the Kurdistan Region.
Talks between the PUK and KDP collapsed with the two leading Kurdish parties engaging in a strained war of words marred with reciprocal recriminations.
A source from inside the New Generation (al-Jeel al-Jadeed) bloc, which garnered nine seats in the cabinet lineup, stated that the movement will endorse Rebwar Aw Rahman as a third candidate in the presidential president.
Duraid Jamil Eyshua', MP and spokesperson for the Babylon Movement, told Shafaq News Agency, "the movement does not support any of the two leading Kurdish parties' candidates against the other."
The movement, according to Eyshau', has repeatedly demanded the KDP and PUK delegations to try to reach a common ground and settle upon a mutual candidate to avoid the dispersion of their efforts and preserve the balance of the political process.
Independent MP Ali al-Saadi said that himself, in addition to ten other independent MPs, will vote for the candidate who garners the majority, i.e., they will vote for whoever wins two-thirds of the votes, "However, that does not mean that independent representatives are not aware of the candidate's political and government agenda."
The Sadrist Movement, the Kurdistan Democratic Party, and Sunni poles Mohammed al-Halboosi and Khamis al-Khanjar were able to form a parliamentary majority in the parliament's inaugural session during which a speaker was elected. Those parties are expected to pursue the same approach to boost the odds of their candidates for presidency and premiership.