KDP’s nominee for Iraqi president Fuad Hussein. File photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The KDP has nominated Fuad Hussein, former chief of staff to the KRG presidency, for the position of president of Iraq.
A native of Khanaqin, Hussein has lived much of his life in Baghdad and the Netherlands. He has a doctorate in international relations and speaks Kurdish, Arabic, English and Dutch.
After the fall of Saddam Hussein, he was put in charge of revamping the country’s education curriculum.
He most recently served as chief of staff for former KRG President Masoud Barzani.
The KDP argues that the post of president of Iraq does not belong to the PUK, but said that it is now the KDP’s turn given the party’s strong showing in the Iraqi election.
“We in our meetings with our PUK brothers have always reiterated that this post is the share and entitlement of the Kurdistani nation, not one particular party,” read a statement issued by the KDP’s politburo earlier on Sunday.
The PUK has held the position since 2005 – first Jalal Talabani and then incumbent Fuad Masum.
The presidency was given to the Kurds while the Shiites took the prime minister’s office and Sunnis the speaker of parliament under a power-sharing agreement.
The KDP and PUK agreed between themselves that the PUK would take the presidency in Iraq and KDP would take it in the Kurdistan Region.
But the party argued that deal was not permanent and facts on the ground have now changed.
“There are no convincing reasons for the PUK to insist on this position,” read the statement, adding that the PUK’s announcement that they were nominating Barham Salih to the post had come as a surprise. The PUK made that decision without consulting the KDP, the party claimed.
The KDP said the office of the president must be "more effective and a defender of the interests of Kurdistan and our people... not an ineffective and useless one."
“The KDP has always wanted and aimed for unity,” the statement read, calling on the PUK to come on board.
Hussein will compete for the post alongside seven other possible Kurdish nominees.
Barham Salih is the PUK’s nominee. Latif Rashid lost out on PUK’s nomination to Salih but said he would throw his name into the running as an independent. Salim Shushkayi has been nominated by the Kurdistan Islamic Group (Komal). Omar Barzinji is currently Iraq’s ambassador to Rome and is also in the running as an independent. Srwa Abdulwahid and Sardar Abdullah are both from Gorran and running as independents. Kamal Qaytuli is a university professor from Duhok running as an independent.
Sunday is the last day for nominations.