Barham Salih holds talks to rejoin PUK before Kurdistan election
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) is seeking to convince former Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister and former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih to rejoin its ranks.
Salih was a key leader in the PUK until September when he announced his resignation and formed a new opposition party called the Coalition for Democracy and Justice (CDJ).
In May's national election, the CDJ secured two seats out of total 329 in the Iraqi parliament.
Despite his split, Salih has on many occasions expressed his willingness to return to the party, which entered a period of uncertainty after the death of its leader Jalal Talabani in October. In recent years, many other PUK members left to join the Gorran movement, founded in 2009.
Salih held a meeting on Friday with members of the PUK leadership, including Kosrat Rasul Ali, to discuss the logistics of such a return to the Sulaimani-based party.
A joint statement issued by the PUK and CDJ released later that day was short on specifics, but alluded to "results" that were being worked toward. The former leader appears to have a number of preconditions for returning to the party he grew up in.
On September 2, Salih announced that the CDJ would not participate in the Kurdistan Region’s parliamentary election scheduled for Sep. 30.
Following a meeting in Erbil with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) headed by its deputy leader and Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, Salih told reporters in a press conference that his party would not participate in the upcoming regional vote.
“We, as CDJ, are not part of the high electoral commission and have no members in the Kurdistan parliament,” he said.
“We have decided not to take part in the election process, but we hope it will be a successful one because the people can no longer bear the current tensions.”