Voting has Ended, Government-Forming Begins

To everyone from Kurdistan, whether you live within Iraqi Kurdistan or reside abroad, I thank and congratulate you for voting in Iraq’s election. By carrying out our constitutionally-mandated right, we have done our part to ensure the people of Kurdistan are well-represented in the formation of Iraq’s next government.

As I have said, this government will be responsible for many things—for the transition of U.S. forces out of Iraq; for crafting effective policy to maintain security for all; and for addressing outstanding issues that threaten our stability, such as reconciling the disputed territories, passing an equitable hydrocarbons law, and ensuring the civilian and constitution control of the armed forces.

It is therefore essential that as we now embark on the government-forming process, we do so with care—not putting haste before reason and quality. For the sake of long term stability, we need a government in Iraq that treats the constitution as the law of the land, the arbiter of all disputes. But getting that government may take time.

As we await the outcomes in the coming months, we can take heart in the fact that the success of these elections—even in the face of terrorist violence—is a win over those forces that aim to mire Iraq in the tragedies of its past. Iraq as a whole must be rid of that way of life, just like the Kurdistan Region is; we are moving forward.

The majority of the political forces and people who guide Iraqi society want to live in peace, want to live together and want to create a federal system where there is a high degree of harmony upon which we can rebuilt the country. By voting in this election, we have reinforced this fact. And by ensuring the people of Kurdistan have a voice, we are bringing the stability and security that marks our Region to the rest of Iraq. Now it is time for our leadership to do the same.

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