Will Iraqi Kurdistan Ever Get New Constitution?

His own personal opinion on this contentious topic? “This is a civil Constitution and as such it should be based on principles of equal citizenship and equal duties. This means it shouldn't be religious.”

However, Othman also adds that the religious nature of society here must also be taken into account, as it has been elsewhere in the world.

Power and the Presidency

The other very controversial topic has to do with power sharing in the region and the future of Iraqi Kurdistan's leadership. These topics have seen the region's two major political parties – the Kurdistan Democratic Party, or KDP, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, or PUK - facing off. The KDP wants a presidential system where the people of the region elect their president, rather than the Parliament. However the PUK favours a parliamentary system, where MPs choose a president.

Farsat Sofi is a senior member of the KDP and he heads the Constitution Drafting Committee. “We at the KDP place great importance on our principles and we believe that the President of a region should be elected by its people,” Sofi told NIQASH.

“We believe that this is a more democratic process and gives voters more rights. The voters gave Parliament the right to pass laws and ensure the laws are implemented but it didn’t give Parliament the task of electing the President. That is the people's right,” he argues.

“The members of the [Constitution Drafting] Committee will discuss this issue but if they do not agree, then the people will be asked to decide in a referendum,” Sofi explained.

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