2018-10-22 14:34:00

Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Adel Abdul Mahdi has been working on cooling down tense relations between the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan following disputes over the country’s presidential seat.

An informed Iraqi political figure, who wished to remain anonymous, told Asharq Al-Awsat on Sunday that Abdul Mahdi has embarked on a “silent mediation” between the two Kurdish parties before he announces his government lineup next Wednesday, as expected.

“What encouraged such mediation is the fact that Abdul Mahdi is accepted by both parties and because the KDP, headed by Masoud Barzani, is enthusiastic to participate in the next government,” the source said.

He added that the tension between the two parties would not help solve pending issues between Baghdad and Erbil.

Asked about the government formation process, the political figure revealed disputes among Bina Alliance members over the distribution of ministerial shares.

According to the source, the Sunni National Axis Alliance, which is part of Bina, is asking for six ministries, including two sovereign portfolios.

On Sunday, National Axis MP Faleh al-Issawi said there were ongoing talks between his bloc and the prime minister-designate. “The talks have reached an advanced stage, whereby the Sunni community, represented by the National Axis, would receive six ministries in the next government, including two sovereign and four services portfolios.”

In this regard, deputy Ahmed Madloul al-Jarba told Asharq Al-Awsat that Abdul Mahdi contacted prominent Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish figures to include them in his next government from outside the electronic application for ministerial vacancies, a new process that has created confusion among all Iraqi political blocs.

Meanwhile, Ali al-Sunaid, a leader of Abadi's Al-Nasr Alliance, told Asharq Al-Awsat that by opening this electronic applications for ministerial vacancies, the prime minister-designate succeeded in pushing all blocs for presenting qualified candidates.