Thousands of dollars to "demonize" Hoshyar Zebari, A source says


Shafaq News/ On Friday, a political source revealed that the demonstrations against nominating the KDP leader Hoshyar Zebari for the Iraqi Presidency were "paid" and cost the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) thousands of dollars.

"100,000 $ were distributed to participants in the three demonstrations against Zebari." He said.

The National Union seems to be trying to distort Zebari's image to increase his candidate, providing a valid for a second presidential state.

Earlier, a group of demonstrators gathered near the heavily fortified Green Zone, downtown the Iraqi capital Baghdad, to express their "discontent with Zebari's candidature to the position."

Leading figures in the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) cast question marks on the demonstrations protesting the nomination of Hoshyar Zebari for the presidency a few days ahead of the election session.

In a statement to Shafaq News Agency, Showan Mohammad Taha, a KDP leading figure, said, "those demonstrations are not popular. Political parties organize them. Some of the Demonstrators serve in the presidential guards' brigades. We are aware that they received money to do what they are doing, and we know who paid them as well."

"The Tahrir square is the October martyrs square. Therefore, political parties shall keep their political disputes outside this square that played a vital role in changing the political situation."

For his part, Bengen Rekani, a representative of the KDP in the Kurdish delegation negotiating for the government formation, said, "more than 200 MPs will vote for Zebari according to the agreements with the KDP allies, the Sadrist movement, and the Sunni leading forces."

"Except for the political aspect, many of the Coordination Framework forces believe that Zebari has the political expertise and tolerance of different political parties to hold the position."

Iraqi parliament will hold a vote to determine who will succeed the incumbent President of the Republic, Barham Salih, on February 7th.

Endorsed by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Barham Salih will be running for a second term in office.

However, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), who secured 31 seats in the recent parliamentary election-well ahead of the PUK's 18, has put forth the name of Hoshyar Zebari, a member of the KDP's Politburo and Iraq's former Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Talks between the PUK and KDP collapsed with the two leading Kurdish parties engaged in a strained war of words heated with mutual recriminations.

A few days after lifting their suspension following an order by Iraq's supreme court, the Parliament Speaker, Mohammad al-Halboosi, and his deputies convened last week to deliberate the procedures related to nominating and electing the next President.


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