Iraqis want Barzani to be­come the next Pres­i­dent

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

It has now been al­most two years since the Iraqi Pres­i­dent Jalal Tal­a­bani suf­fered a de­bil­i­tat­ing stroke and has been re­ceiv­ing med­i­cal treat­ment in Ger­many since then. Na­jmid­din Karim, a mem­ber of Tal­a­bani’s party, the Pa­tri­otic Union of Kur­dis­tan (PUK), told an elec­tion rally in Cham­chamal a few days ago that Tal­a­bani’s con­di­tion has im­proved sig­nif­i­cantly and he will re­turn to Kur­dis­tan soon.

It has now been al­most two years since the Iraqi Pres­i­dent Jalal Tal­a­bani suf­fered a de­bil­i­tat­ing stroke and has been re­ceiv­ing med­i­cal treat­ment in Ger­many since then. Na­jmid­din Karim, a mem­ber of Tal­a­bani’s party, the Pa­tri­otic Union of Kur­dis­tan (PUK), told an elec­tion rally in Cham­chamal a few days ago that Tal­a­bani’s con­di­tion has im­proved sig­nif­i­cantly and he will re­turn to Kur­dis­tan soon.

Karim is un­der­stood to be close to Tal­a­bani, and has pre­vi­ously acted as his per­sonal physi­cian.

Many think that Tal­a­bani’s ab­sence has cre­ated a big vac­uum in the Iraqi po­lit­i­cal process. He acted as a key player in the Iraqi na­tional pol­i­tics fol­low­ing the top­pling of Sad­dam Hus­sein in the 2003 US-led in­va­sion, with the Kurds form­ing a pow­er­ful voting bloc in the Na­tional Par­lia­ment.

Tal­a­bani, who is seen as be­ing close to both the United States and Iran, won praise at the height of Iraq's sec­tar­ian war for build­ing bridges be­tween the coun­try's di­vided fac­tions.

It is cur­rently un­der­stood across the Iraqi eth­nic, sec­tar­ian, and po­lit­i­cal spec­trum that Tal­a­bani’s re­turn to Iraq and his abil­ity to run pres­i­dency post has be­come al­most im­pos­si­ble. And while Iraqis are will­ing to main­tain the fic­tion that he is still pres­i­dent, they have been dis­cussing for months his suc­ces­sor.

Al­though some be­lieve that no one can fill pres­i­dent Tal­a­bani’s po­si­tion, oth­ers see Kurds have pow­er­ful and qual­i­fied lead­ers to run the post.

Ayad Allawi, the leader of the Iraqi main op­po­si­tion party, The Iraqiya List, said that his side likes the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Pres­i­dent Mas­soud Barzani to suc­ceed Tal­a­bani.

In a TV in­ter­view af­ter a meet­ing with Barzani in the Kur­dish Re­gion’s cap­i­tal city of Er­bil a few days ago, Allawi said that dur­ing his meet­ing with Barzani he asked him to run for Iraq’s pres­i­dency and his list will back the Kur­dish leader and “we will pre­vent Ma­liki (Iraqi PM Nouri Al-Ma­liki) from run­ning for the pre­mier­ship for the third time.”

The two lead­ers also re­ported to have dis­cussed the lat­est de­vel­op­ments in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion and Iraq with both of them re­it­er­at­ing that Iraq's po­lit­i­cal process has reached a dead end.

Allawi is not the only one sup­port­ing Barzani to re­place Tal­a­bani, Ah­mad Cha­l­abi too, head of the Iraqi Na­tional Congress, al­ready had given his opin­ion about Barzani say­ing: “Ma­soud Barzani should be­come Iraq's next pres­i­dent.”

A Kur­dish mem­ber in the Iraqi Par­lia­ment, Dr. Mah­moud Oth­man, also dis­closed that Barzani has been re­quested to fill Tal­a­bani’s po­si­tion, but Barzani does not in­tend to be­come Iraq's pres­i­dent.

Oth­man does not like any Kur­dish lead­ers to shoul­der the re­spon­si­bil­ity of be­com­ing the pres­i­dent of the Federal Iraq be­cause the post is only cer­e­mo­nial .The Pres­i­dent does not have any leg­isla­tive power. “If Kurds take Iraqi pres­i­dency post, they should al­ways hail an in­de­pen­dent, sov­er­eign and united Iraq. This is re­ally against the wishes of the Kurds people who strug­gle to have their own in­de­pen­dent coun­try in the near fu­ture,” noted Oth­man.

Un­like Oth­man, Fuad Maa­soum, an­other Kur­dish mem­ber in the Iraqi Par­lia­ment be­lieves that Kurds should not re­lin­quish this vi­tal post.

“Iraqi pres­i­dency is a cru­cial post, and Barzani is the most suit­able per­son to fill the po­si­tion. This is­sue has al­ready been dis­cussed and I was one of those who sup­ported the idea of Barzani’s suit­abil­ity for the job,” said Maa­soum.

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