PUK's Bafel Talabani meets with Kurdistan Parliament Speaker Rewaz Fayaq following weeks of intra-party tension

Kurdistan Parliament Speaker Rewaz Fayaq (left) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Co-President Bafel Talabani (Photo Credit: PUK Media)

2308 View

+ -

SULAIMANI — During a meeting with Kurdistan Parliament Speaker Rewaz Fayaq, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Co-President Bafel Talabani said on Thursday (July 29) that disruptions to her work and that of Parliament that were created for personal purposes have been removed, an apparent reference to the influence of his ousted counterpart Lahur Sheikh Jangi.

For more than a year, partisan acrimony has typified legislative sessions in Erbil, with a number of meetings disrupted by MPs from both the opposition and the government calling for changes to the agenda in order to discuss issues, including public sector salaries and joblessness.

The last several seasonal sessions of Parliament were profoundly unproductive, with lawmakers passing only a handful of bills and conducting limited oversight of the executive.

According to a statement released by Talabani’s office, the co-president and speaker discussed the PUK’s support for Parliament and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and ways of increasing coordination and cooperation between the legislative and executive branches in order to better serve the people of the Kurdistan Region.

"We in the new [PUK] view the work of Parliament as important and, as the supreme oversight legislative power, we will support it and coordinate for it to work independently,” the statement quoted Talabani as saying.

"The barriers are no longer there and all our partisan affairs and representatives in power will have to go the real way of the new [PUK], which is the way of service and healthy policies for the benefit of society,” he added.

The meeting comes after a month of factional turmoil within the PUK, of which Fayaq is a member.

On July 8, Qubad and Bafel Talabani moved to pressure Lahur Sheikh Jangi to step down from his position as co-president, which he did on July 19.

Sheikh Jangi has been a staunch critic of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which holds a plurality in the Kurdistan Parliament and is the most powerful party within the KRG’s Council of Ministers.

Talabani’s younger brother Qubad Talabani currently serves as KRG deputy prime minister.

Even if lawmakers, including some from the PUK, have disrupted individual sessions, analysts have raised serious concerns about whether the Parliament is performing adequate oversight of the Council of Ministers.

(NRT Digital Media)