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 Iraqi president agrees to share power and avoid a split in his Kurd party 

 Source : AFP | Awene | Kurdish Aspect | Rudaw net | Agencies 
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Iraqi president agrees to share power and avoid a split in his Kurd party  18.2.2009

February 18, 2009

SULAIMANIYAH, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — President Jalal Talabani agreed on Tuesday to share power within his Kurdish PUK party to avoid a split which would have weakened the group ahead of polls in Kurdistan region in Iraq's north.

Talabani, who is chief of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), "accepted the demands of the five leaders who submitted their resignations,
www.ekurd.netso as to prevent them leaving the party," a PUK official told AFP.

The five high-ranking officials submitted their resignation on Saturday, citing differences over how to tackle corruption.

Iraqi President : Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, Secretary General of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)
Kosrat Rasul, who is vice president of the Kurdistan regional government (KRG) in northern Iraq, said he was resigning along with four members of the political office.

Efforts to fight corruption and improve democracy in both the regional government and the PUK were among the issues in dispute.

Main points of the agreement between Talabani and his deputies

A source close to the five leadership members of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan who resigned last week, told the Kurdish Newspaper 'Awene' that Jalal Talabani and his two deputies, Kosrat Rasul and Barham Saleh, have reached an agreement to resolve the issues.

The source said that the two sides, Talabani and Saleh on one side and Rasul on the other side, have signed a written agreement to resolve the issues. Rasul and four other leading PUK members last week submitted their letters of resignation because of what news reports suggested the party's failure to address several problems within the party.

The source mentioned the main points of the agreement as following:

- Changing PUK representatives in the Kurdistan Regional Government.

- Changing chairmen of PUK branches.

- Revealing the finance of the party to the Politburo.

- Security apparatus such as PUK's Zanyari (intelligence) apparatus must be under the auspices of one of Talabani's deputies.

- Reconciliation among all PUK factions including "Rag" members who were dismissed from the party a while ago.

- Talabani's deputies will preside implementing the agreement.

On Monday the PUK leader Fouad Massoum told the London-based al-Sharq al-Awssat newspaper that neither Rasul nor any leader resigned.

But the source, declining to be named, said the veteran PUK leader, who founded the party in 1975, has accepted terms to allow more transparency in the party's finances and for supervision of the group's intelligence services.

Under a pact signed by Talabani in Baghdad, the PUK will also open a dialogue with former dissident senior members who walked out of the party, the official said.

The Kurdistan region, which operates autonomously from Baghdad and benefited from the 1991 Gulf War over Kuwait in the form of US military protection,
www.ekurd.netenacts its own laws and has its own security forces.

The region, which is to hold elections to its parliament in May, has since the 2003 US-led liberation of Iraq enjoyed better security than the rest of the country, allowing it to attract foreign investment.

Its three provinces -- Erbil, Duhok and Sulaimaniyah -- are ruled with an iron fist by the PUK and the Kurdistan Democratic Party headed by Massoud Barzani, president of Kurdistan region.

Rival political parties have accused the PUK and Barzani's party of accepting bribes to push through lucrative contracts.

Copyright, respective author or news agency, AFP | Awene | Kurdish Aspect | Rudaw net | Agencies   


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