Interview : PUK – Leadership Issue Yet to be Discussed

By RUDAW RUDAW –  16.10.2013 – The leadership of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) was not discussed at the party’s two meetings last week, said Adnan Mufti, one of the party’s leading members. In an interview with Rudaw, he said the issue will be brought up at the next party convention on January 31.

The PUK has been leaderless since Jalal Talabani – who is also Iraq’s president – was flown to Germany in December after a stroke. The PUK has embarked on a soul-search since it took a beating at the September 21 polls by the opposition Change Movement (Gorran).

Mufti was tasked with supervising a report about the PUK’s situation, and the road ahead. Here is an edited excerpt of his interview:

Rudaw: What was discussed in the latest meeting of your political bureau?

Adnan Mufti: We discussed the results of last month’s parliamentary elections and what it meant to the PUK, especially that the outcome wasn’t what we expected. It is clear that a number of our voters hadn’t voted for us. We won 18 seats, but that doesn’t reflect PUK’s real weight.

In the meeting we did some valuable assessments. Our charter stipulates a convention every three years. If not, then a plenum has to be held in order to discuss the term of the leadership.

Rudaw: What is the exact task of the three-man team that was formed by the PUK under your supervision to prepare a report?

Adnan Mufti: That team was formed to prepare a conclusive report about PUK’s situation. The team will receive reports from the party’s smaller organizations to complete and enrich it. The team will also expand and embrace more members to make it more inclusive.

Rudaw: Was there any tension in the latest meeting of the political bureau?

Adnan Mufti: No, it was a perfect meeting, based on feeling the responsibility put on the shoulders of all PUK leaders and its different branches. We had honest discussions, and it all ended amicably.

Rudaw: Do you think any members of your political bureau may resign without the formal approval of the plenum?

Adnan Mufti: This has to do with the convention, which will be three months from now. Instead of resigning, leaders can instead choose not to nominate themselves again for their posts. This style will also conform to the new plans we have. PUK supporters will see that we take their grievances and demands seriously. These issues cannot be solved with emotions.

Rudaw: Have you talked about appointing someone to lead the PUK for the time being?

Adnan Mufti: That will be decided at the convention, but my opinion is that one leader and two deputies can be appointed to run the affairs of the party. Or, we could let things continue as it is now, since the convention isn’t far away anyway. But all in all, we have a committee with many members who run things for now and cooperate with each other until the time of the next convention.

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