Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s number two Kosrat Rasul has been assigned to lead the party temporarily in the absence of its ailing leader.
According to a statement issued after a senior party meeting on Monday, 24 December, the 60-year-old Rasul will act as “the elder brother” until PUK leader Jalal Talabani’s return.
Talabani, 79, is in hospital in Germany after he reportedly suffered a stroke in Baghdad on 17 December.
Rasul chaired a meeting of the party’s Central Council, Kurdish media reported. Several other senior party figures, such as Barham Salih and Mala Bakhtiyar, attended the meeting.
PUK media outlets treated the report of the meeting very cautiously, picking the meeting itself or wishes of Talabani’s recovery as the main news points.
The party’s official media website, PUKmedia, mentioned Rasul’s appointment in the fourth paragraph of the report, while the headline of the report read: The Central Council Reiterates Commitment to the Political Bureau.
The statement itself was very carefully worded, opting for “elder brother” rather than “a temporary leader” or any other obvious political terms. In Kurdish culture, the elder brother in a family holds the fort in the father’s absence.