President Jalal Talabani’s brother-in-law, Helo Ibrahim Ahmed, has posted his candidacy for the Kurdistan Regional presidency to compete with current president Massoud Barazani in elections slated for 25 July 2009.
Helo Ibrahim Ahmad, brother of Talabani’s wife, is the secretary general of the Progress Party, which he founded in November 2008 after being dismissed from the PUK.
Ahmed was born in 1951 and left Kurdistan in 1976 to live in Europe. He earned a doctorate in computer science at the Technical Institute in Stockholm and returned to the Kurdistan region in 1991.
Last year Ahmed caused an uproar in journalistic and human rights circles after threatening to kill a journalist who he said insulted his late father in an article. In an e-mail communication Ahmed wrote to journalist Nabaz Goran on 28 February 2008 in which he said, ‘[I will] kill you, [Goran] even if I have one day left of my life.’
Hawlati’s editor-in-chief Abid Aref said of Ahmed’s comments in response to Goran’s article were ‘an attack on freedom of expression and democracy in Kurdistan.’
The candidate’s platform calls for making the Kurdistan Region a model of human rights and peaceful coexistence in the Middle East, applying the principles of justice and democracy while fighting against corruption.
Talabani brother-in-law runs for elections, Kerkuk.net, 20 May 2009
Hama-Saeed, M. Death threat attack on ‘Freedom of Expression’ in Kurdistan, ICR No. 248, 10 March 1008
رئيس حزب التقدم أول مرشح لمنصب رئاسة إقليم كردستان , Aswat al-Iraq, 19 May 2009