Iraqi-Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani to have term extended by two years

Published August 18th, 2015 - 06:00 GMT

The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG)’s judicial council has extended the term of KRG President Masoud Barzani -- which had been set to expire on Thursday -- for another two years, according to the KRG’s Justice Ministry.

Ministry spokesman Nariman Talib told Anadolu Agency that the move would be decided at an extraordinary meeting of the KRG’s parliament slated for Wednesday.

Earlier Monday, Parliamentary Speaker Yusuf Muhammed Sadiq confirmed to Anadolu Agency that the parliamentary meeting would be held on Wednesday.

On Monday, MPs from 49 different Kurdish parties -- including the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the Movement for Change (known as “Gorran” in Kurdish), the Kurdistan Islamic Movement party and the Kurdistan Islamic Society Party (Komel) -- submitted a joint request for the parliamentary meeting.

However, Cafer Eminki, deputy parliament speaker and member of the political bureau of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), of which Barzani is the leader, has said the planned parliamentary meeting would not be constitutional without the approval of all parties in parliament.

The KRG’s 111-seat parliament is currently shared between Barzani’s KDP (38 seats), Gorran (24 seats), the PUK (18), Yekgirt (ten seats) and Komela Islam (six seats). The assembly’s remaining 15 seats are held by various other small parties.

KRG presidential elections had initially been slated for Wednesday (August 20), the same day on which Barzani’s term will expire, with Barzani intending to run for a third term in office.

The KRG government, however, which is currently shared between the KDP and Gorran, recently postponed the polls -- citing the KRG’s precarious economic situation and regional instability -- and declared that Barzani would remain at the helm for another two years. 

Barzani was elected president by the KRG parliament in 2005. He was reelected in 2009 by popular vote -- the KRG’s first direct presidential election. When his second term expired in 2013, parliament extended his mandate until August 20 of this year.


© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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