ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The newly-formed Coalition for Democracy and Justice (CDJ) on Friday, by a landslide majority-vote chose to change its name and remain as a party in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq after its leader, Barham Salih, left the party months ago to secure the presidency of the country.
In a meeting with some 350 members in attendance, the CDJ held a convention in Erbil. In a public vote, an overwhelming majority voted against dismantling the party, and 189 members voted in favor of changing the party’s name. National Coalition won the most votes.
In his speech, Mohammed Rauf, one of the founding members of the CDJ, praised the strength and patience of party members amidst uncertain times.
The members plan to re-write a new mission statement and structure for the party. It is also preparing to elect a new party leader following the departure of Barham Salih, who is currently the President of Iraq.
Salih was previously the Deputy Secretary-General of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), but due to the party’s internal turmoil, namely over the absence of its late leader, Jalal Talabani, he left the PUK in September 2017 to form his own bloc – the CDJ – which won two seats in Iraq’s May 12 national election.
On Sep. 19, he abandoned the CDJ and rejoined the PUK to be their official candidate for the Presidency of Iraq. On Oct. 2, he was officially elected as the new President of the country.
Since then, his newly-formed CDJ has been in limbo, with its leaders, and members remaining uncertain about the future of the party.
The CDJ also participated in the Kurdistan Region’s Sep. 30 parliamentary election, but failed to secure a seat over the departure of Salih.
Editing by Nadia Riva