Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region finally formed a new government yesterday after months of negotiations.
“Today we announce the formation of the government in complicated circumstances,” said Nechirvan Barzani, KRG Premier and the nephew of the region’s president.
The government includes members of the Goran (Change) movement, which had been in opposition until the September 2013 elections.
Previously, the government was formed by the historic duopoly of Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party KDP and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan PUK of ailing Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.
Negotiations have been ongoing since the regional parliamentary polls in September, as parties vied for power.
The members of the 8th Cabinet sworn into posts Wednesday include Dr Yusuf Guran as Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research. The Ministry of Higher Education, which runs the Human Capacity Development Programme (HCDP) scholarships, remains in the hands of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party.
The male dominance of the new government drew criticism from women’s rights activists. Chiman Rasheed told KNNC that women in election campaigns of political parties play a major role, while they are forgotten during the division of KRG’s posts due to the patriarchal mentality of men in Kurdistan.
Chiman stated, “Political parties should answer the question of why they have many female members, yet they do not use women in key governmental positions.”
Chnar Saad Abdullah, a leading member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, said that the lack of women in the KRG’s eight cabinet violates human rights, and this patriarchal approach increases uncertainty between women and the KRG.