President Nechirvan Barzani: We are waiting for the next steps to hold the elections

Barzan, Kurdistan Region, May 11, 2023

President Nechirvan Barzani answered questions from journalists about the political situation in the country, during the opening ceremony of the Barzani National Memorial on Thursday.

Regarding the message of President Masoud Barzani calling on political parties in Kurdistan Region to resolve their differences through dialogue, the President said: “President Barzani’s message was a message of peace, mutual acceptance and reconciliation. God willing, that will be a good start to get all the issues on the negotiating table. I think this is the most important message that came out of the Kurdistan Region today.”

Regarding the differences between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) over holding the general elections, the President said: “Today’s initiative by President Barzani is clear. It calls for all parties to sit down together. I think this will be a good start to resolve all issues among political forces in Kurdistan through dialogue.”

Regarding the meeting of the political parties to resolve their differences, the President said: “The important issue is that the parties meet together. Wherever they meet, we will support them. Today’s call by President Barzani was (for the parties) to meet as soon as possible.”

Regarding the elections and how likely it is to hold the elections, the President said: “As part of my authority as president, I have determined the date of the elections according to my legal duties. The rest remains on the parliament to restructure the (election) commission and make it active again. We are waiting for these steps to be taken. We hope that these steps will be taken after all parties sit down together and the elections will be held on the date we have set.”

Asked about the ramifications of this agreement in Baghdad, the President said: “The agreement with Baghdad was made within the framework of the Kurdistan Regional Government, but another agreement has been made which is the Agreement to Form the Iraqi Government, called the Coalition to Administrate the State. The PUK and the KDP are both participating in this coalition together. Of course, the more we as Kurdistan political forces are together, the more we can ensure the rights of the Kurdistan Region. So far, within the framework of the coalition, the PUK, the KDP, and the parties involved in Baghdad have really coordinated well there. I hope that in Kurdistan, we will witness a new chapter of agreement and understanding to serve the whole of Kurdistan and the whole of Iraq.”

Regarding Iraq’s budget, the President said: “What was decided yesterday in the Coalition to Administrate the State is that a date has been set for the budget bill to be passed on the 17th and 18th of this month.”

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