Key play­ers in Iraqi Kur­dish pol­i­tics

Gulf News - - From The Cover - — Gulf News Re­port

Nechir­van Barzani

Born in 1966, Nechir­van Barzani, a nephew of Ma­soud Barzani, has been the Prime Min­is­ter of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment since 2012. He also pre­vi­ously served as Prime Min­is­ter from March 2006 to Au­gust 2009. His first name means ‘hunter’ in Kur­dish. In 1975, his fam­ily was forced into ex­ile in Iran. He took an ac­tive role in Kur­dish pol­i­tics fol­low­ing the death of his fa­ther, Idris Barzani. He was elected to the KDP cen­tral com­mit­tee in 1989, and re­elected in 1993. Af­ter the 1991 Gulf War, he par­tic­i­pated in the ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Iraqi gov­ern­ment, and is cred­ited with car­ry­ing out ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Iraqi gov­ern­ment af­ter the First Gulf War.

Mas­rour Barzani

Born in 1969, he is a mem­ber of the Kur­dis­tan Demo­cratic Party lead­er­ship and holds the pow­er­ful po­si­tion of Chan­cel­lor of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Se­cu­rity Coun­cil. He is the son of Ma­soud Barzani, and a mem­ber of the cur­rent gov­ern­ment. At the age of 16, he joined the Pesh­merga, and took part in the guer­rilla war against Sad­dam Hus­sain’s regime. Mas­rour over­sees se­cu­rity, mil­i­tary, and in­tel­li­gence mat­ters in Iraqi Kur­dis­tan. He played a key role in the fight against Daesh, through the Kur­dish spe­cial forces at­tached to the Counter-Ter­ror­ism De­part­ment.

Barham Salih

He is an Iraqi Kur­dish politi­cian. A for­mer prime min­is­ter of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment, he is also a for­mer deputy prime min­is­ter of the Iraqi fed­eral gov­ern­ment. Un­like the Barza­nis, Salih, 57, is a key mem­ber of the ri­val Pa­tri­otic Union of Kur­dis­tan party. In 1979, he was ar­rested by Sad­dam’s regime, and is said to have suf­fered bru­tal tor­ture. A few years af­ter his re­lease, he fled to the UK. Salih spear­headed the Kur­dis­tani List in the Iraqi Kur­dis­tan leg­isla­tive elec­tion, 2009. The list won 59 of 111 seats.

Kur­dish MPs at a ses­sion of Kur­dis­tan’s re­gional par­lia­ment in Ar­bil, cap­i­tal of the au­ton­o­mous Kur­dish re­gion.

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