June 6, 2013 – ERBIL-Hewlêr, Kurdistan region ‘Iraq’  niqash – Al Monitor – : The spokesman for ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), announced that his party is ready to sign a strategic agreement with the main Kurdish opposition party, the Change Movement (Gorran), stressing at the same time that the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) shared its opinion on the need for President, Massoud Barzani to stay in office.

The KDP spokesman, Jaafar Aamenki said that “Party members and supporters want the Kurdistan president Massoud Barzani to be in power and will not accept any alternative to replace him”. He added in a press statement Thursday, “The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan PUK supports our view about the need for Barzani to be the region’s president.”

He announced “The KDP’s readiness to make strategic agreement with the (Change) the opposition Movement for managing matters of governance in the region.” He added: “It is possible to sign a strategic agreement with them like the one we signed with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.” The two major parties in the region KDP and (PUK) linked by a strategy agreement to ensure the sharing of power between them.

“Our party didn’t rush at that time in submitting the constitution to a referendum taking into account the national consensus,” adding that “the Gorran movement has just split from PUK, so we took into account this case and other things,” Jaafar Aamenki said in an interview with Rudaw Kurdish TV.

“Kurdistan’s constitution issue has become a political market and has a political project behind it aimed to strike KDP”. “We as members of KDP wants for Mr. Massoud Barzani to continue in his post and do not want another person to replace him”.

“KDP shares PUK the opinion for President Massoud Barzani to remain in his post, as this is a necessity for this stage and we appreciate their position”.

A big debated is taking place among powers of the various political blocs in Kurdistan region on the issue of re-drafting the constitution to parliament or submitting it to a popular referendum.

The President of Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani has settled the debate on this matter when he announced at the Party’s celebration last month that the Constitution has completed all its legal stages and now nothing is left but the popular referendum on him, while other parties insist on the need to bring him back to parliament and make some adjustments to some of its clauses before going to the referendum.

The opposition parties in Kurdistan object the re-election of President of Kurdistan region for a third term amid a divergence of views about his eligibility to nominate himself again. The call made by Massoud Barzani to put the recent Kurdistan Regional Government KRG draft constitution to a referendum was officially rejected by the Kurdish opposition forces in the region. The latter consist of the Movement for Change, the Islamic Group and the Kurdistan Islamic Union, and they have stressed the need to reach a political consensus on the draft.

Many of Barzani’s critics believe the pressure he is applying for a referendum has more to do with rules around whether he can remain President of the region for another term. According to current laws in the semi-autonomous region, the President of the region may only remain in power for two terms. A term is four years. And Barzani will complete his two terms in the middle of this year.

Adnan Osman, a member of the Movement for Change, told Al Monitor that “the majority of the Kurdish parties support the resubmission of the constitution to parliament, while the KDP, led by Barzani, is the only party opposing these amendments.”

According to Osman, the most prominent demand of the Kurdish opposition is to change the political system in the Kurdistan region from a presidential to a parliamentary system, stressing that “in light of the existing provisions, the Iraqi Kurdistan region is a presidential system, where the president enjoys absolute powers. This is unacceptable in democratic regimes and we are demanding to change these provisions according to the political system.” Kurdistan government announced earlier that it will hold parliamentary elections, the presidential and local council’s elections, all in 21 of next September. The KDP, has demanded that the long-planned public referendum on the Constitution be held at the same time.