ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) - The leading Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) elected Masrour Barzani as its candidate for the post of Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, and Nechirvan Barzani as its candidate for the Presidency of the Kurdistan Region once the suspended post is reactivated, the party's spokesperson said on Monday.
The announcement came during a press briefing following a meeting between KDP leadership council members, headed by the party’s leader, Masoud Barzani.
“During earlier meetings and the latest one between leadership council members, these suggestions were made, and they were approved,” Mahmoud Mohammed, the KDP spokesperson, said during the press conference.
Mohammed said they had elected Masrour Barzani, the current Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC), to take on the premiership.
Barzani was born in 1969 in Erbil. In the age of sixteen, he became a Peshmerga and participated in some of the battles against the former Baathist regime.
He graduated high school in 1989 in Iran. He later returned to Erbil and participated in the 1991 Kurdish uprising against Saddam Hussein.
After the revolution, he left for the United States to pursue further education and received a master’s degree in international studies at the American University in Washington DC. He returned to the region in 1998.
Barzani became a ranking member of the KDP following a congress held by the party in 2010. In 2012, he was elected as the Chancellor of the KRSC.
Following the rise of the Islamic State (IS) in 2014, he played an important role in combatting the terror group as the region's Security Chief.
In 2005, he founded the Barzani Charity Foundation, which, as a non-profit organization, has been providing aid to displaced persons, refugees, and the country’s poor and destitute, most recently sending shipments of water to Basra.
He is also chairman of the board of trustees of the American University of Kurdistan – Duhok. Barzani speaks Kurdish, English, Farsi, and Arabic.
The KDP approved to delegate the post of the region’s presidency to the incumbent Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani. Barzani has held the post for the past six years.
He was also in office for the period of nearly three-and-a-half years from March 2006.
Nechirvan Barzani was born in 1966. At the age of nine, his family was forced into exile in Iran, where he studied and earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science at the University of Tehran.
He became a ranking member of the KDP in 1989. Six years later, he was elected as the deputy premier of the administration in the KDP-controlled areas of Kurdistan Region. He became the PM in 1999.
Barzani was again elected as Prime Minister and held the post for three years after the two separate administrations in the Kurdistan Region united in 2006.
From 2009 to 2012, current Iraqi President, Barham Salih, held the PM position. From 2012 onward, Barzani has been in the post, during which he has been commended for his role in developing the region.
Masoud Barzani formerly held the presidency, but he stepped down after his term ended in Nov. 2017. Shortly after, the post was suspended due to political disputes between leading parties.
The KDP held 38 seats in Kurdistan’s 111-seat parliament prior to the election and increased its number of seats to 45 on Sep. 30.
Editing by Nadia Riva