Bafel Talabani: There was no coup, rather abolition of a coup

P.U.K 05:34 PM - 2021-09-04

"It was not a coup, rather an abolition of a coup," the PUK Co-President, Bafel Talabani, told Kurdish news outlets regarding the PUK's recent reforms and changes.

Bafel Talabani, Co-President of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, held a meeting with some Kurdish media outlets on Friday regarding the recent changes made by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and gave thorough explanations on what happened within the party. 

"It is clear that everyone must understand that there is no return before July 8 and the PUK has returned to the path of Mam Jalal," Talabani said.

"The PUK is ready for the elections and is participating in a Coalition with Gorran, and our situation is very good. I would like to get more votes than the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) so that the PUK becomes the strongest party in Kurdistan and become the number one party," he added.

"The PUK is ready for unity"

At the beginning of his meeting, Bafel Talabani touched on the unity of political parties in the Kurdistan Region, especially as the Iraqi parliamentary elections are underway, and said: "As the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, we believe in Kurdish unity, especially in Baghdad, because this election is very important and we also have many problems surrounding us. 

We believe that the Kurds must be united in Baghdad. The Kurds will be the largest bloc if they were united in Baghdad. And I believe that the Kurds still have time to unite and join forces in Baghdad."

He also said that "by serving people and eliminating corruption, by strengthening local governments and supporting them, trade in the green zone (PUK controlled regions) will be free, and that is how the PUK will become the number one party."

Talabani also pointed out that "it is normal for parties to compete with each other in the Kurdistan Region."

"We are in competition with the KDP, which is very normal. I will not hide from you. I would like to get more votes than the KDP so that the PUK becomes the strongest party in Kurdistan," he said.

"July 8 is over and there is no return"

"Following July 8, the PUK has become another PUK and has returned to its own path," said Bafel Talabani speaking about the recent internal changes within the party. 

"There is no hatred. Mam Jalal's path is important to us. We have planned for many things for after July 8, but we have to start within ourselves... and we are ready for and work for reforms and changes that are now being seen, so it is clear that everyone must understand that the period before July 8 is over and there is no return to it. The PUK is back on Mam Jalal's path," he added.

"There was no coup, rather an abolition of a coup"

Regarding the issues between the two Co-Presidents of the PUK, Talabani said: "People say July 8 was a coup, but I want to clarify that this was not a coup, but rather an abolition of a coup. There was a coup within this party for a long time. Lahur used security agencies in the coup we have thwarted. A part of the Zanyari Intelligence Agency (PUK's Intelligence) has dominated all organs of the PUK, we have not been in a party for a long time."

"This was Mam Jalal's party, known as the Social Democratic Party, but it was far from Mam Jalal's principles, 50 percent of PUK cadres did not dare speak using Asiacell SIM card, meaning they trusted the Parastin Agency (KDP's intelligence) more than the Zaniyari Intelligence Agency. Zaniyari Intelligence Agency is for protecting the people, not just one person. I found a spy in my house who was not a spy from another party or another country, but a Zanyari Intelligence Agency spy, and there is also news about me being poisoned. Yes, I have proof that I was drugged and poisoned at my home,  I have confessions and the drugs have been found, so I want the case to be given to a court, whether in Kurdistan or abroad," He added.

Bafel Talabani also said: "We have implemented the government's decision to change the intelligence and counter-terrorism agency, our representative in the Government is Qubad Talabani, who decided to make the change, and we supported and implemented it."

"People can ask to see if there are any cases of blackmailing, kidnapping of businessmen, and killings after July 8. Ask foreign countries if they approve of what is happening at the Sulaymaniyah Airport now. They are very happy now, and many changes have taken place in Slemani, and other changes will follow. A party should not interfere and create issues for merchants, but must help them," he explained.

Lahur Talabani, the Co-President of the PUK, was stripped of all powers by the PUK politburo on July 8 which many saw as a coup by Bafel Talabani to gain his powers.

"Our meetings didn't have good results"

In response to journalists' questions about party meetings, the PUK Co-President said: "There have been some discussions within the party to decide if the party should ask Lahur to leave the country and this is not the first time for us to do so... Our meetings didn't have a good result. I don't think we can solve the issue in closed meetings. I've tried to solve it on several sides, but I couldn't, he gave all his powers to me and I wasn't aware of it, so he won't participate in election campaigns."

"With Gorran, we're ready for everything to unify"

"As the PUK and Gorran Coalition, we know what we're doing and what we're saying, and we're very optimistic about the outcome of the election," Talabani said.

"The Coalition between the PUK and Gorran will be an umbrella for bringing together many parties, which is our goal," he added, pointing out that "we don't want our relationship with Gorran to be for this election only... but we want to unite again, I would like to unite again and our goal is to serve the people."

"As the PUK, we are ready for everything, we are ready to implement the old agreement or today is another day and a few years have passed. In my opinion, we should meet with our brothers in Gorran to make a new agreement, a strategic agreement we can implement now and be compatible with today, not an agreement that has been written for years, but we are ready for both.

The PUK and Gorran signed their bilateral agreement in 2016 in a ceremony at the late President Mam Jalal’s residence in Dabashan, Slemani.

The Gorran Movement or just Gorran is a Kurdish political party in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq that split from the PUK in 2009. It was founded in 2009 by Nawshirwan Mustafa. Gorran is the third-largest party in the Kurdistan Region Parliament.

The PUK is entering the upcoming Iraqi elections in a joint list with the Gorran Movement. The PUK and Gorran formed the  Kurdistan Coalition list last May. The Coalition is headed by Qubad Talabani, who is currently the Deputy Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

"My goal is for the PUK to become the Number One Party" 

Regarding the strategic agreement between the PUK and KDP, he said: "If there is an agreement left between the PUK and KDP, it has not been implemented as it is by both sides for a long time. We are in competition with the KDP, but it doesn't have to be the same with Gorran. My goal is to be the Number One Party in Kurdistan... my brothers in the KDP don't get upset, but I want to win. I want the majority of the Kurdistan Parliament to be for the PUK. I believe that we can do this by serving people, preventing corruption, and a proper policy."

"In order to reach a strategic agreement, we need to know what we are doing. What is important now is for the Kurds to go to Baghdad with one voice. The PUK has one opinion. There is no part within the PUK that wants to divide the Kurdistan Region into two. We have given all these martyrs for the sake of this Region, so who will accept it from us to divide it, and so our goal is only to become the largest party in Kurdistan," he said.

"The PUK is ready and we are not afraid of elections" 

Regarding the PUK's preparations for the Iraqi parliamentary election, Bafel Talabani said: "The PUK is ready... we are not afraid of the election either early or at its own time."

Iraq will hold elections on October 10, ahead of schedule. Early elections were one of the demands of the protesters who took to the streets in October 2019 across central and southern Iraq. 


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