22 Facts About Barham Salih


Barham Salih is an Iraqi Kurdish politician who served as the eighth president of Iraq from 2018 to 2022.


Barham Salih is the former prime minister of the Kurdistan Region and a former deputy prime minister of the Iraqi federal government.


Barham Salih was elected and assumed office as president of Iraq on 2 October 2018.


Barham Salih 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.


Barham Salih joined the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in late 1976 where he became a member of the PUK department of Europe, and was in charge of PUK foreign relations in London.


Barham Salih continued to study and obtained a Doctorate degree in Statistics and Computer Applications in Engineering from the University of Liverpool in 1987.


Barham Salih was elected a member of the PUK leadership at the first party conference when Iraqi Kurdistan was liberated from the Ba'ath Party following the Persian Gulf War.

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Barham Salih was assigned the task of heading the PUK Office in the United States.


Barham Salih appeared on The Colbert Report on 10 June 2009, broadcast from Baghdad, and was interviewed by the host.


Barham Salih praised the US military for sending troops into Iraq, and acknowledged that many Kurds desire independence.


Barham Salih spearheaded the Kurdistani List in the 2009 Iraqi Kurdistan legislative election.


Barham Salih succeeded Nechervan Idris Barzani as the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government.


Barham Salih's term was marked by turbulence with the rise of an opposition to challenge the government while his own party was scrambling to stay together after losing the stronghold city of Sulaymaniyah.


Barham Salih survived the first motion of no confidence in Iraqi Kurdistan following the 2011 Kurdish protests in Iraq.


Barham Salih signed the first major oil contract with Exxon Mobil after drafting and amending a new oil law.


In September 2017, Barham Salih announced that he was leaving the PUK and forming a new opposition party, the Coalition for Democracy and Justice, to compete in the forthcoming Iraqi Kurdistan elections.


On 2 October 2018, Barham Salih was elected as the eighth president of Iraq.


Barham Salih received 219 votes and defeated Fuad Hussein who secured 22 votes.


On 24 September 2019, President Barham Salih had his first bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump.


On 26 December 2019, Barham 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.


Barham 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.