PUK rejected KDP initiative to join tripartite alliance – report

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) has rejected an initiative to join a tripartite alliance in return for the position of Iraqi president, state-owned newspaper reported on Sunday.

Al Sabah newspaper cited a PUK source as saying that the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) had sent “a secret initiative” to the party a few days ago, asking the PUK to join “Save the Nation” alliance so as to form a new government.

The PUK rejected the initiative to join alliance between the KDP, Sadrist movement led by Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and Sunni Taqaddum Party led by parliament speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi, the source told Sabah newspaper.

The initiative indicated that the KDP was ready to “abandon the presidency to the PUK on condition that the PUK comes out of its coalition with the Coordination Framework parties and joins the tripartite alliance”, the newspaper reported.

The initiative came after the tripartite alliance failed to form the largest parliamentary bloc last week due to disagreements with the other Shia parties and the PUK over candidates for the positions of presidency and prime minister.

The tripartite alliance announced KDP’s Rebar Ahmed as its candidate for the presidency and Mohammed Jaafar al-Sadr for the premiership.

The PUK has nominated incumbent Barham Salih as its only candidate for the presidency.

Under a power-sharing system designed to avoid sectarian conflict, Iraq’s president is a Kurd, its prime minister a Shia and its parliament speaker a Sunni.

Following the alliance’s failure, Sadr said he would give the Coordination Framework the chance to form the country’s next government.

The 40-day window offered by Sadr started on Saturday on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Disagreements between Iraqi and Kurdish Kurdish parties have led to a political stalemate.

Last week, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and Halbousi called for an end to the political stalemate in the country.

Iraqi President Barham Salih also urged the political parties to participate in “serious and effective dialogue to get out of the current crisis without delay”.

“The continuation of the political stalemate amid the serious challenges facing the country is unacceptable,” he said.

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