PUK to play role in Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government

PUK to play role in Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government

Patriotic Union of Kurdistan won 21 out of 111 seats in September’s Kurdish parliamentary polls

By Ali Mohamed

ERBIL, Iraq (AA) – The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) is set to take part in northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), according to members of the party’s politburo.

The PUK came in second in Kurdish parliamentary polls held last September, winning 21 out of 111 assembly seats.

Notably, the party has yet to choose a new leader since the death last year of party co-founder Jalal Talabani.

In a statement, the PUK politburo said that party officials planned to hold talks with the rival Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of Masoud Barzani -- which won 45 assembly seats -- with a view to forming a new government.

Since 1990, the KDP and the PUK have shared power in Erbil, the Kurdish region’s administrative capital.

In recent weeks, the KDP has been holding talks with leading political blocs in an effort to draw up a broad-based government.

Once formed, the regional government is expected to hold talks with Iraq’s federal government in hopes of resolving several longstanding differences between Erbil and Baghdad.

These differences include lingering disputes over territory, petroleum exports and the KRG's share of Iraq’s federal budget.

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