One of Iraq’s two deputy prime ministers, Barham Salih, is expected to resign within days to lead the main Kurdish bloc in elections in the autonomous Kurdish region. Salih, born in 1960, is one of two deputies for Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a member of the country’s Shiite Arab majority. Salih is deputy for the Kurds and Rafa al-Essawi for the Sunni Arabs.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of Kurdish regional president Mesûd Barzanî and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, in which Salih is a leading figure, have agreed to appoint Barham Salih as Prime Minister of the KRG if their coalition list wins the upcoming Kurdistan elections. The news was relayed by Fu’ad Ma’sum, the head of the Kurdish bloc in the Parliament.
The Kurdish Alliance (KDP and PUK) is strongly expected to win in the upcoming elections on 25 July. If Salih becomes KRG Prime Minister, he would replace Nêçîrvan Barzanî, Mesûd Barzanî’s nephew.
Salih has been seen by Western diplomats as one of the most progressive and professional members of the Iraqi government, in which he has been a central part of a recent push to attract foreign investment to the war-torn country.
Salih was elected to the Iraqi National Assembly in December 2005 as part of the Kurdistan Alliance list. Salih also chairs a committee on oil and energy policy. He was Prime Minister of the PUK region of Iraqi Kurdistan from 2001-2004. While working as an engineering consultant, he also served as spokesman for the PUK in London and later in Washington.
Dr Salih has a Twitter site and frequently ‘tweets’ about his activities.
Iraq deputy PM to quit to take up Kurdish role, AlArab Online, 06 June 2009
Deputy PM to quit to take up Kurdish region role, The Jordan Times, 07 June 2009