The Presidency of the Kurdistan Region is a political, administrative, and legal institution that was promulgated by the Kurdistan National Assembly, the national parliament, in 2005 under Law 1, Article 1. The President of the Kurdistan Region has the highest executive authority in the Kurdistan Region. He or she is elected by secret ballot in a popular vote every four years and can stand for election for a second term.
On 31 January 2005, the Kurdistan National Assembly elected Mr Masoud Barzani as Kurdistan Region’s first president. Subsequent presidential elections will be by secret popular ballot by the people of the Kurdistan Region.
According to the Law of the Presidency of the Kurdistan Region, the President of the Region will have a Deputy President. Through a session of the Kurdistan National Assembly, Mr Kosrat Rasul Ali was elected as the Deputy President of the Kurdistan Region.
The Deputy President assists the President in his or her duties and in the President’s absence is the acting President.
According to the Law of the Presidency of the Kurdistan Region, the President may delegate some of his powers to the Deputy President.
At national and international levels, the president represents the people of Kurdistan, oversees relations between the Region and the Iraqi federal authorities, and represents the people of Kurdistan at Iraq’s Political Council for National Security which includes the Iraqi President, the two Vice Presidents, the Iraqi Prime Minister, and the Speaker of Iraqi Council of Representatives.
To secure the rights of the people of Kurdistan in the Iraqi Constitution, the President of the Kurdistan Region will represent the Region when conducting negotiations and consultations with other parties in Iraq and will oversee coordination between the Kurdistan Regional authorities and the Iraqi federal authorities.
The Law set out the relationship between the Presidency of the Kurdistan Region and the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. The President of the Council of Ministers is also known as the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). All applications for special appointments and promotions will be submit to the Presidency of the Kurdistan Region. After the President’s approval and through Regional Decrees, the applications will be returned to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.
The Law also stipulates the relationship between the Presidency of Kurdistan Region and the Presidency of Kurdistan National Assembly. Any laws passed by the Kurdistan National Assembly must be ratified by the President before they are enacted. The President has the power to return any law passed by the Assembly for further debate. This must be done within ten days of the passage of the law. The decision of the Assembly after the referral is final.
Organization of the Presidency of Kurdistan Region
- Diwan of the Presidency: this legal institution was established on 8 January 2005 and has the following duties:
- Overseeing Diwan’s directorates
- Organizing communication between the Presidency of Kurdistan Region and the Presidency of KRG and the Presidency of Kurdistan National Assembly.
- Organizing communication between the Presidency of Kurdistan Region and the Iraqi federal authorities.
- Organizing the President’s activities in and outside the Kurdistan Region.
- The Chief of Diwan: the President of Kurdistan Region, Mr Masoud Barzani has appointed Mr Fuad Mohamad Hussein as the first chief of Diwan, who with a rank of minister can attend all Kurdistan Regional Government Council of Ministers meetings. The Chief of Diwan also supervises all the activities of the Diwan.
- The Office of the President: this administrative office deals with daily activities of the President.
- The Office of the Deputy President: this administrative office deals with daily activities of the Deputy President.
- There are general directorates in the Diwan for administration and finance, legal affairs, communications, public complaints, public relations, and regional relations.