He is the former Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region
and a former deputy prime minister of the Iraqi federal government
. He was elected and assumed office as the President of Iraq on 2 October 2018.
Early life and education
Salih was born in 1960 in Sulaymaniyah
. He was arrested in 1979 by the Ba'athist regime
twice on charges of involvement in the Kurdish national movement by taking some photos of protesters in Sulaimaniya city and spent 43 days in detention in a Special Investigation Commission prison in Kirkuk where he was tortured
Once released, he finished high school and left Iraq for the United Kingdom to flee continuous persecution.
Salih is married to Sarbagh Salih, the head and founding member of the Kurdish Botanical Foundation and a women's rights activist.
The couple have two children.
Deputy Secretary General of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
Barham Salih joined the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
(PUK) in late 1976 where he became a member of the PUK department of Europe, and was in charge of PUK foreign relations in London. In addition to the political struggle, he finished his university studies and received a Bachelors
degree in Civil Engineering and Construction from the Cardiff University
in 1983. He continued to study and obtained a Doctorate degree
in Statistics and Computer Applications in Engineering from the University of Liverpool
After the fall of the Ba'athist regime in 2003, he became Deputy Prime Minister in the Interim Iraqi Government
in mid-2004, Minister of Planning in the Transitional Government in 2005, and Deputy Prime Minister in the elected Iraqi Government (Nouri al-Maliki
's Cabinet) in charge of the economic portfolio and Head of the Economic Committee. Representing the Iraqi Government, he launched the International Compact with Iraq – an initiative of mutual commitment between Iraq and the international community to help Iraq in meeting its obligations of "building a prosperous, democratic and federal country, in peace with itself and with the region and the world".
Salih appeared on The Colbert Report
on 10 June 2009, broadcast from Baghdad
, and was interviewed by the host. He praised the U.S. military for sending troops into Iraq, and acknowledged that many Kurds desire independence.
Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Government
Move to opposition
President of Iraq
On 2 October 2018, Barham Salih was elected as 8th President of Iraq.
He received 219 votes and defeated Fuad Hussein
who secured 22 votes.
Salih condemned the 2019 Turkish offensive into north-eastern Syria
, stating that it "will cause untold humanitarian suffering, empower terrorist groups. The world must unite to avert a catastrophe, promote political resolution to the rights of all Syrians, including Kurds, to peace, dignity and security".
In March 2019, Salih submitted the groundbreaking “Yazidi Female Survivors Law” to Parliament for review.
The ground-breaking bill set forth a number of reparation measures for female Yazidi survivors of captivity.
It was seen by the Yazidi leaders as an important step toward a secure future for the survivors, and so they could move on and rebuild their homes, which were destroyed by IS fighting.
On March 1, 2021, Parliament passed the Yazidi [Female] Survivors Bill into law, and the law was welcomed by Nadia Murad
as "an important first step in acknowledging the gender-based trauma of sexual violence and need for tangible redress."
On 24 September 2019, President Salih had his first bilateral meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump
On 26 December 2019, Salih submitted a letter of resignation after refusing to appoint Basra
Governor Asaad Al Eidani
as Prime Minister following the resignation of Adil Abdul-Mahdi
, amid ongoing protests
across the country. Salih stated that Al Eidani would not be approved by the demonstrators.
On 19 September 2018, the announcement that Barham Salih will be the PUK's candidate for the post of Iraqi president was greeted with anger by many on social media while others expressed hope that his international reputation and experience would bring a steady hand to tumultuous Baghdad. Some took to the social media platform to call Salih out for perceived opportunism, noting he had just recently been campaigning against PUK and KDP corruption.
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- ^ "Iraq elects Kurdish Barham Salih as president". The National. 2 October 2018.
- ^ a b "Barham Salih: Biography and Profile". 2009. Archived from the original on 20 November 2009.
- ^ "Dr. Barham Salih, Deputy prime minister, Republic of Iraq" (PDF). Brookings Institution. 13 September 2006. Archived from the original(PDF) on 3 November 2007.
- ^ من هو الرئيس العراقي الجديد [Who is the new Iraqi president?]. Al Sumaria TV (in Arabic). Archived from the original on 4 October 2018.
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- ^ Razzouk, Nayla (5 March 2012). "Nechirvan Barzani to Take Over as Iraq Kurd Premier on March 7". Bloomberg.
- ^ Rasheed, Honar Hama. "Kurdish Political Heavyweight Announces Plan To Shake Up Local Voters". Niqash. Archived from the original on 24 April 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
- ^ "New Iraq President Barham Saleh names Adel Abdul Mahdi as PM". BBC. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- ^ "Moderate Saleh wins Iraq presidency". The Australian. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
- ^ "World reacts to Turkey's military operation in northeast Syria". Al-Jazeera. 10 October 2019.
- ^ ""Yazidi Female Survivors Law" in Iraq is groundbreaking but not enough". OpenGlobalRights. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
- ^ "Iraq's Reparation Bill for Yazidi Female Survivors: More Progress Needed". Middle East Centre. 26 April 2019. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
- ^ "Yazidis Push for Reparation Bill in Iraqi Parliament | Voice of America - English". www.voanews.com. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
- ^ Ochab, Dr. Ewelina U. (4 March 2021). "Iraq Adopts New Law To Assist Survivors Of The Daesh Genocide". Forbes. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
- ^ www.whitehouse.gov
- ^ "Iraqi President Barham Saleh Submits Resignation to Parliament Amid Deadly Protests: Report". Time. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
- ^ "Iraqi president threatens to quit in defiance of Iran's allies in parliament". Reuters. 26 December 2019. Retrieved 26 December 2019.
- ^ By Rudaw. "Twittersphere reacts with anger, hope, humour to Barham Salih news". Rudaw.
- ^ John J. Catherine. "Barham Salih holds talks to rejoin PUK before Kurdistan election". Kurdistan24.
- ^ Corporation, Nalia. "CDJ to continue political, civil work after departure of Barham Salih". www.nrttv.com.
Last edited on 10 May 2021, at 16:58
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