In total the various Kurdish political parties have nominated a total of 24 Ministers of Parliament (MP) to return to office post-election. While many have claimed they do not wish to return to office, they have been nominated for the task yet again regardless. A total of six were nominated by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and another two from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the autonomous regions most influential political groups. KDP nominees Omed Khoshnaw and Vala Faridi spoke to local media and expressed their views on the situation. Over 800 candidates are seeking seats within parliament, and the body is limited to only 111 seats. Khoshnaw stated that,

Many MPs [Ministers of Parliament] didn’t want to run for the parliament again, including myself. But the KDP leadership had already decided and we will execute the order. This will be a good experience for us and we can do better work. In this term of parliament we had some MPs who were previous MPs with different factions and they had better experience than us who had just become MPs.”

A re-elected member of the Gorran party, Sherko Hamaamin, spoke to reporters as well saying that,

My party has placed confidence in me again by nominating me again and you should do what your party assigns you to do. In addition, experience for an MP is important. The fourth term of the parliament was very extraordinary. The parliament was shut down for a year and several months. We tried to deliver on our promises, and submitted many projects to the parliament speaker. But they were not put in the parliament agenda. Our priority for the fifth term of the parliament is rewriting the constitution, transparency in oil revenues, building a Kurdistan fund for oil and gas, amending the laws that have restricted freedoms, improving the economic infrastructure, passing an education and learning bill, independence for university management, a bill for higher education loans, a bill for patient rights and environment.”

The Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) re-elected Minister Bahzad Darwesh said that,

The party and its supporters wanted me to re-run for the parliament. I have served enough in the fourth term to win enough votes. The KIU faction had a 41 percent participation in passing bills during this term while our bloc consisted 10 percent of the MPs. Out of the 805 questions directed at ministers, 200 were raised by the KIU bloc. I alone submitted 190 reports on KRG’s projects to the parliament speaker. The re-nomination of some MPs for the parliament is essential. The governance system and legislation requires experience. It cannot be done by two or four years. Three months ago, we as a parliament delegation went to the British parliament and met with the deputy speaker of the British parliament. He said he had been MP for 22 years. He knew all the details of being an MP. Those who re-run with this intention can work professionally and benefit all. The list of Toward Reform will in the text term of parliament work on salary reforms, correcting the salary-saving system, returning the saved money, and the electricity sector which costs the government $3 billion and yet we don’t have electricity.”

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The Komal party chose Soran Omar, who was previously the head of human rights committee within the Iraqi parliament. Omar said,

I and Abdulsatar Majid were called in to head the list. We didn’t ask for it. The leadership had nominated us. I won the majority of the votes. Our nomination was based on the confidence of Komal leadership and our own desire. I wanted to be MP for one term, but the party wanted me to run again. Parliamentary work needs experience. The successful MPs of the world are those with much experience in parliamentary work. The first term is just an experience for MPs, who will gain more experience in the second term and will benefit in the works they did in the first term. And this is useful for people and the parliament. The fourth term of parliament was functional for one year and six months. It was paralyzed for some time, started late and then its term was extended. You cannot execute your programs during this short time. That is why the next term of parliament will be a time to present solutions to crises and we will prepare ourselves for this. We have discussed and determined the problems and obstacles. Now we should move to the stage where we deliver solutions. In this term, Komal’s agenda will seek solutions.”

The parliamentary elections have been plagued with controversy and claims of fraudulent voting practices. Iraq has also been forced to address the growing national protests over clean water and electrical based infrastructure services as well as the increasing unemployment rate. The new formation of the country’s parliament has its own set of obstacles to overcome during the formation of the new Iraqi central government. Kurdistan is still playing its part, but it remains to be seen if its selection in Ministers will be fruitful for the autonomous region or not.

Featured image: Inside of the Baghdad Convention Center, where the Council of Representatives of Iraq meets. This photo shows delegates from all over Iraq convening for the Iraqi National Conference. | By James Gordon [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons