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Bafel Talabani, Lahur Sheikh Jangi elected PUK co-leaders

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Bafel Talabani, Lahur Sheikh Jangi elected PUK co-leaders

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Feb 24, 2020 5:26 am

Bafel Talabani
Lahur Sheikh Jangi

Bafel Talabani and Lahur Sheikh Jangi were elected co-leaders of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) by the party’s General Leadership Council on Tuesday

“I assure you, and so does Comrade Bafel, that from now on we will be unseen soldiers of this party, and work night and day to ... make the families of martyrs happy,” Jangi told the press conference.

“We will visit houses, villages, cities and blocks in order to return the PUK to the principle it was founded for, which is serving the people of Kurdistan.”

“God willing, we will never lose your trust. We will raise this party again and make it the PUK of Mam Jalal again,” he added.

The meeting was attended by 93 members, party officials told Rudaw's Arkan Ali. The two co-leaders received 92 votes each.

“This is a great honor and a difficult duty,” Jangi told PUK members in Tuesday’s meeting. After years of ups and downs as well as splits from the party “the difficult duty begins today after the congress”.

A party delegation headed by Jangi is on its way to Baghdad to negotiate the formation of a new Iraqi government, according to PUK General Leadership Council member Fareed Asasard.

Iraq's Prime Minister-designate Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi is set to announce his new government within days, but has yet to consult major Kurdish and Sunni parties about the formation of his cabinet.

The election of Jangi and Talabani follows years of wrangling over who would succeed party founder Jalal Talabani.

Lahur is the incumbent head of the PUK’s counterterrorism forces and is the nephew of Jalal Talabani, who served as Iraq’s president from 2005 to 2014. Bafel is the late president’s son.

Some factions had hoped to prevent the party becoming a family dynasty.

The PUK General Leadership Council is the highest body of the PUK. It consists of 121 members. The Council is tasked with electing the party leadership and determining the PUK's future structure.

The PUK was founded in 1975 after breaking away from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). The two parties fought a long civil war in the 1990s before agreeing to share power in a united administration. They however both retain their own Peshmerga units and geographical areas of influence.
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Bafel Talabani, Lahur Sheikh Jangi elected PUK co-leaders



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