Can Iraqi Kurdistan’s Bickering Factions Grasp Key Opportunities?

Rival KRG factions are edging toward government formation. But progress is slow. The benefits of ‘normalization’ would be felt in the KRG and Baghdad alike.

Perennial rivals the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) signed a four-year comprehensive 18-point agreement this week that addresses a host of sticking points between the two parties – ranging from the status of disputed Kirkuk and security coordination to greater ‘partnership’ in oil and energy matters. Consensus on these issues will remove several barriers to forming a new government in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The autonomous region held elections last September ( MEES, 5 October 2018 ), but a mechanism for distributing key positions in the new government has since eluded the major factions. Deputy PM Qubad Talabani (PUK) said this week that whilst the KDP-PUK arrangement “should have been made earlier,” discussions over government formation between the two parties are due to commence shortly. (CONTINUED - 1069 WORDS)