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Iraq's Kurdish president asks elected PM to form next regional government

(Xinhua)

10:57, March 08, 2012

BAGHDAD, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Iraq's Kurdistan Regional President Masoud Barzani Wednesday asked the newly elected prime minister and his deputy to form the next government for the semi- autonomous Kurdish region in northern the country, an official Kurdish website reported.

"Masoud Barzani, the President of Kurdistan Region, on March 7 asked (elected PM) Nechirvan Barzani and (deputy PM) Imad Ahmad to form the cabinet for Kurdistan region," said the official website of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), a major Kurdish party headed by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

In mid February, the Iraqi regional parliament of Kurdistan voted in a new prime minister and his deputy to form a new Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) for the next two years.

The parliament also elected its former deputy speaker Arsalan Baez as a news speaker and Hassan Muhammad as his deputy, after the former speaker Kamal Kirkuki and his deputy Baez submitted their resignation to the parliament.

Meanwhile, President Masoud Barzani appointed the PUK's leading figure Kosrat Rasul Ali as vice president of the region, after Ali 's party earlier nominated him for the post.

However, the opposition members of the parliament in the region walked out of voting session after they criticized the mechanism of exchange of the top positions in the region which based on a so- called strategic agreement struck in 2006 between the two ruling parties of Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), headed by the regional president Masoud Barzani, and the PUK.

The strategic agreement stated that the two powerful Kurdish political parties of PUK and KDP would rotate the top positions of the KRG and the parliament every two years, accept for the top leaders Talabani as president of Iraq and Barzani as president of the region.

The opposition parties in the regional parliament demanded to reconsider the strategic agreement to include other political parties in Iraq's Kurdish area.

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