Masoud Barzani remains as President, no matter how

Osamah Golpy

By Osamah Golpy:

Masoud Barzani, the current president of Kurdistan, whose second term should expire by August, 2013, has accepted a law that gives him the “right” to remain in power for more two years without election.

The law was passed by the parliament on June 30th, 2013, although it does not have the right to pass such a law since the president should be elected directly by the people, not the MP – and, furthermore, nobody knows how many MPs voted in favor of the law since the house speaker said it had got a “majority”, without even counting the votes. This comes while the region has been unable to ratify a constitution since the formation of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in 1991.

According to the presidency election law, the president has no right to run for presidency for a third term. As a result, the president, some critics say, made sure to have a legal cover to stay in power, hoping the region’s constitution in future – or an amendment to the presidency election law – will enable him to run for presidency for at least one more time, if not twice!

However, others say that – according to an agreement on June 29th 2013 between  the president’s party, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), whose leader is Jalal Talabani, the Iraqi president – Masoud Barzani should not run as a candidate in future presidential elections in the Kurdistan Region. Yet President Barzani is not bound to that agreement because it is not a law.

This extension comes after the presidential election, along with parliamentary and city council elections, were set for September, 21st 2013. Even the president himself said in a speech said that “nobody is above the law, not even me” and thus he promised the elections would take place on time. But now he has gone against his word and only the parliament election is due on that date. As for the rest, nobody knows, not as long as the president has the “right” to stay in power through law, but not elections of course.

In 2005 Masoud Barzani became regional president as part of a deal with Jalal Talabani. Then he asked the parliament to pass a law that gives voters the opportunity to elect the president (no doubt thinking of himself)  directly in a presidential election. However, the president has now relied on the parliament to give him the right to continue his presidency for longer than is legal. And that shows how he favors staying in power, though the tools are different each time!

Osamah Hama Husen was born in 1985 as a refugee in Iran, and is from Halabja. He is a writer, in Kurdish and English, and an activist for democracy and green environment, a local coordinator for an international charity organization called Fida International, and he works as a translator for an NGO called National Center for Gender Research. He was a student of English Department in the Kurdish city of Duhok and, because of his critical writings and activism against the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party, he was dismissed for a year in his final grade; only to go back and graduate the following year in 2012.  *Golpy is not the family name of the writer, as people in this part of the world rarely have one. People rather use a triple name, as the following: Osamah Mohammed Hama Husen; Golpy is his home village, a practice common in the region. E-mail:

Copyright © 2013

5 Responses to Masoud Barzani remains as President, no matter how
  1. Suleiyman
    July 18, 2013 | 16:32

    This goes to show two things:

    1) Kurdistan is headed towards dictatorship
    2) how incompetent the opposition is. Basically a joke. If the opposition has walked ten percent of their talk, people would’ve noticed. It’s sad.

  2. Ari Ali
    July 18, 2013 | 17:03

    This will end in another war am afraid . The more people kowtoe to this coward , criminal and war lord .. the more he and his henchmen will take us fora ride . The sooner the battle for freedom from Masoud and all the barzanies scums the better for the future generations .

    • Sherzad
      July 23, 2013 | 18:19

      It’s people like you that cause civil war and won’t allow Kurdistan to be a country. If it wasn’t for the Barzani family Sadam would of not allowed you or your family to breathe, your body and your families bodies would of been discovered in a mass grave with other Kurds. Have some respect for the president who has given freedom and security to the Kurdish people! You make me sick to my stomach! And dictatorship? Are you kidding me???? Educate yourselves before you speak you uneducated little minded fools.

  3. Hari Das
    February 15, 2015 | 10:28

    Iam following president H.H.Masoud Berzani and worried abt Kurdish ongoing war with terrorist.Intl community should declare freedom to Kurdistan. Kindly let me know whether I can send e mail to honorable president. Thanks

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