Shushkayee told NRT on Friday that he would submit his nomination paperwork to the Council of Representatives on Saturday.
He said the he had decided to run because the KIG wants to fill the post and that he hoped that he would get enough votes to win the seat.
Shushkayee added that the position is not the exclusive property of any political party, referring to the fact that a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) has filled the position since 2006, and cannot remain this position of one party “until the Day of Resurrection,” noting that the size of a party’s parliamentary delegation is not a condition for the position.
Earlier this summer, the Erbil Asayish (Kurdish KDP party security) director made accusations that Shushkayee belonged to Islamic State and issued a warrant for his arrest.
The lawmaker’s home was also raided and documents and his computer’s hard drive were confiscated. Sushkayee was in Iran at the time seeking medical treatment.
Sushkayee categorically denied the charges and the Region’s opposition parties lined up behind him in condemning the allegations.
The PUK has formally [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] to fill the position, while former Gorran MP [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] will stand as an independent.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has said that they will also field a [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], but not yet announced their nominee.
The KDP is expected to declare their nominee by Sunday.
“We want the KDP to gain this position through power and its share in order to be able to empower the presidency because we believe the position has not been used to serve the Kurdish question and for the empowerment of Kurdistan. What was expected was not achieved,” Bashar Kiki, a KDP member of parliament, told Rudaw.
Under a power-sharing agreement, the three presidencies of Iraq are shared among the three major factions: parliament speaker goes to the Sunnis, prime minister to the Shiites, and the Kurds take the presidency.
The winning candidate must secure two-thirds of votes in the parliament so with five Kurds vying for the post, some consensus will be needed.
“If our Kurdish brethren do not agree on a specific candidate… then a free and secret poll will be held. We will see who is the best and whoever achieves the majority of votes will win,” Sheikh Sarm Abdulhassan, an MP for the Fatih alliance, told Rudaw.
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