Iraq – Divisions in Kurdish parties exacerbate the struggle for the Iraqi presidency


Location: Sulaymaniyah – Iraq

Language: Arabic

Voice: Natural

Duration: 00:06:29

Source: A24

Restrictions: A24 Clients

Dateline: 06-02-2022


Conflicts increase among independent candidates and other party members as the upcoming parliament session, devoted to electing a president for Iraq, is approaching, which implies a severe division crisis that may last.

The independent presidential candidate, Rizgar Amin, held a press conference, in which he confirmed that he will not withdraw, considering that he meets all the conditions required for this position, despite his knowledge that he has slim chances of winning.

Rizgar Amin served as a judge in the trial of former President Saddam Hussein, which was conducted under the supervision of the Supreme Criminal Court.

The Iraqi political scene is getting complicated with the emergence of divisions and conflict among the Kurdish parties candidates, especially between the Union Party and the Democratic Party.

The scene got worse when Muqtada al-Sadr suspended all negotiations with other political blocs over the formation of the next government and the running for president.


  • (SOUNDBITE) Rizgar Amin – Independent Candidate for the Presidential Election:

“I am running for president, which I see as a job like any other job. I want to protect the constitution and the concepts of human rights in the country and work with the Mass Movement to make the Iraqi individual happy. We focus on citizens; they are the foundation of all laws and authorities established in this country. The constitution has set conditions for the candidates and I see that I have full capacity and the existing conditions, although judges or jurists are the closest people to this position. Another important point is that the independence of the candidate is an important element that must be taken into consideration. Many European countries require the president to be independent, even if he is partisan; he has to freeze his actions and party activities until he finishes the position. The President of Germany, for instance, belongs to the Social Democratic Party, so he froze all his party activities and he doesn’t attend party meetings. Therefore I, as a legal expert, have a pure intention to serve the country, without having any personal ambitions or selfishness in reaching any position. My position as a judge is greater than any other position, yet I see in myself able to work in this field to achieve justice in its broader field, perhaps when the powers of the individual expand, he may prefer to play a greater role to serve Justice and the country, with these capabilities and these energies. We believe in peace, democracy, human rights, peace at home and abroad with neighbors, and Iraq will be at the top of all our goals.”

  • (SOUNDBITE) Ali Al-Tuwaijri – Writer and Journalist):

“I do not think that the presidency of the republic ends with the parliament session scheduled for the seventh of this month, most likely the session will be postponed, given that Mr. Muqtada al-Sadr withdrew. The chances of independent candidates are very poor, given that we are today in sovereign positions and these positions are subject to political consensus within the parties, whether Arab or Kurdish. We demand the unification of the Kurdish house in order not to make this position a crossroads between the Kurdish parties, thus, there must be a consensus between the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union within the Shiite house on the position of the prime minister as well. There must be a consensual government in which everyone participates, and therefore there must be a government to resolve crises, not a government to begin crises between the Shiite and Kurdish sides.”

  • (SOUNDBITE) Sherko Abdullah – Political Observer:

“Mr. Hoshar Zebari is the strong candidate for the presidency, and this was agreed upon before the formation of Parliament. This is a moral, political, and religious agreement that everyone is bound by, especially since Muqtada al-Sadr is committed to this agreement, however, random tweets and actions will do nothing at the end.”

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