In an effort to create a inclusive structuring for the newest generation of Kurds, the PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) is planning a major overhaul of their political party. Plans to overhaul the party were proposed in light of the upcoming congress to be held among its members. On Thursday acting head of the PUK, Kosrat Rasul, held a meeting with the leadership council. The council unanimously agreed to hold the upcoming congress on March 5th. During an interview with local media, council member Asos Ali insisted that the PUK was still a very relevant piece to the KRG’s puzzle as well as in the eyes of the Iraqi central government.
The PUK is one of two central parties in Kurdistan that hold the majority of sway in the KRG (Kurdish Regional Government), the other being the KDP (Kurdish Democratic Party) and a strong opponent of the PUK. Similar to the opposition felt between American Democrats and Republicans but at the same time so much different. After the gulf war, from 1994-1997, the two parties went to war with each other that eventual led to the formation of the KRG. The under tone of distrust and rivalry between the two, still exists to this day.
The former leader of the PUK, Jalal Talabani, is attributed to progressing Kurdish culture and international standing throughout his time as the KRG’s President. He later fell victim to a stroke and was hospitalized until his death this past October. During his hospitalization, internal power struggles between members of influence plagued the PUK and have only recently begun to settle in the wake of Talabani’s death.
Part of the reformation that is set to be held by the PUK will eliminate the position of Secretary General, a billet that has only ever been filled by Talabani himself. Simultaneously it will form a 3 member committee to take over the PUK’s presidential requirements. Under these 3 presidential members a 9 person executive council. Under that there will exist a 50 member general council and a 70 member monitoring council. Spokesman for the PUK, Latif Nerweyi, told local media, “Based on the draft, the membership will draw from all PUK members based on location, components, age, and ethnicities,” and, “When they talk about PUK’s renewal, it means new policies and new programs. It also means combining the new generation with the older generation.”