KDP nominates Nechirvan and Masrour Barzani for Iraqi Kurdistan’s top posts

Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani after casting his vote in Erbil during parliamentary elections in this Sept. 30 file photo. (Files/ Reuters)
Updated 04 December 2018
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KDP nominates Nechirvan and Masrour Barzani for Iraqi Kurdistan’s top posts

  • Masrour Barzani is currently Iraqi Kurdistan’s security chief

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) said on Monday it had nominated current premier Nechirvan Barzani to succeed his uncle Masoud Barzani as president of Iraqi Kurdistan, and Masoud Barzani’s son Masrour as premier of the regional government.
With 45 of 111 seats, the KDP is the biggest party in the Kurdish assembly after September’s regional election but 11 shy of an outright majority, and will have to govern in coalition.
Masrour Barzani is currently Iraqi Kurdistan’s security chief. Both Masrour and Nechirvan have occupied senior roles within the KRG throughout the last decade.
Veteran Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani, still the head of the KDP, stepped down after 12 years as regional president in November 2017, less than a month after helming a referendum on Kurdish independence that backfired
and triggered a crisis for Iraq’s Kurds.
The post has remained vacant ever since. The president’s powers were divided between the prime minister, Parliament and the judiciary in a makeshift arrangement, leaving the future of the presidency uncertain.
The semi-autonomous region does not have a formal constitution, having failed to ratify it in Parliament since it was drafted in 2009.
Any future power-sharing arrangement would require a rethinking of presidential powers, which would need to be ratified by Parliament.
“We still don’t know what the presidency will look like. Will it become a ceremonial post filled by Parliament?” said Kamal Chomani, a Kurdish political analyst and nonresident fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy.
“In any case, Nechirvan will be weaker than Masrour but will stay powerful enough to control the foreign relations of the KRI. It all depends on how the presidential law will be amended,” he said.
Relations with the previous Iraqi administration of Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi were strained by the referendum.
But with a new Iraqi government in place, led by Adel Abdul-Mahdi, Irbil and Baghdad have in recent weeks signalled a willingness to work together.


UN envoy to Yemen says agreement on de-escalation in Taiz and Hodeidah ‘not there yet’

Updated 14 min 36 sec ago
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UN envoy to Yemen says agreement on de-escalation in Taiz and Hodeidah ‘not there yet’

LONDON: United Nations Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, said on Monday that agreement on the de-escalation in Taiz and Hodeidah are ‘not there yet’.
Speaking at a press conference in Stockholm, following the first round of the UN sponsored peace talks between the legitimate Yemeni government and the Iranian-backed Houthi militia, Griffiths told reporters that they will continue to discuss Hodeidah and Taiz.
He also said they are still working to find a common ground for the reopening of Sanaa airport.
During the talks, the two sides discussed a broad prisoner swap, however, Griffiths said the numbers of prisoners to be released by the warring parties will be announced soon.
The UN envoy said he expects to present a detailed plan for the next round of talks and hopes for an agreement from warring factions to hold the next round of talks early next year.