Prime Minister of Iraqi Kurdistan

Prime Minister of Iraqi Kurdistan

Political Emblem
Nechervan Barzani

since 17 January 2012
Appointer Kurdistan Parliament
Term length Four years, renewable
Inaugural holder Fuad Masum (de facto)
Nechervan Barzani (de jure)
Formation 4 July 1992 (de facto)
1 March 2006 (de jure)

The Prime Minister of Iraqi Kurdistan heads the Kurdistan Regional Government, the government of Kurdistan Autonomous Region in northern Iraq. The government is elected as part of the Kurdistan National Assembly.[1]


After the 1992 parliamentary election resulted in the two main parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), each holding 50 out of 100 seats, they decided to create a unity government (which was not recognized by the Ba'athist Iraq, led by Saddam Hussein).[2]

Iraqi Kurdistan after the 1998 cease-fire. Green area controlled by the PUK, Yellow area controlled by the KDP

The unity government soon collapsed and in 1994 a civil war broke out, which lasted until 1998. This resulted in the establishment of two Kurdistan Regional Governments in 1996, a KDP-controlled one in Erbil and a PUK-controlled one in Sulaymaniyah, each with their own Prime Minister.[2]

PUK-controlled part

Prime Ministers of the PUK-controlled Kurdistan Regional Government:[3]

Picture Name
Term of Office Political Party
Took Office Left Office
1 Fuad Masum
4 July 1992 26 April 1993 Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
2 Kosrat Rasul Ali
26 April 1993 21 January 2001 Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
3 Barham Salih
21 January 2001 4 July 2004 Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
4 Omer Fattah Hussain
4 July 2004 14 June 2005 Patriotic Union of Kurdistan

KDP-controlled part

Prime Ministers of the KDP-controlled Kurdistan Regional Government:[3]

Picture Name
Term of Office Political Party
Took Office Left Office
1 Rowsch Shaways
26 September 1996 20 December 1999 Kurdistan Democratic Party
2 Nechervan Barzani
20 December 1999 14 June 2005 Kurdistan Democratic Party


After the reconciliation between the KDP and PUK, parliamentary elections were held on January 30, 2005 and an agreement was made to let a KDP leader become Prime Minister for the first term and a PUK Prime Minister to become President for the second term, so Nechervan Barzani became Prime Minister. Barham Salih held the post of Prime Minister until 17 January 2012 after which he relinquished his position to Nechervan Idris Barzani.[4]

Prime Ministers of Kurdistan Regional Government:

Picture Name
Term of Office Political Party
Took Office Left Office
1 Nechervan Barzani
1 March 2006 31 August 2009 Kurdistan Democratic Party
2 Barham Salih
1 September 2009 17 January 2012 Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
(1) Nechervan Barzani
17 January 2012 Incumbent Kurdistan Democratic Party

See also

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Iraqi Kurdistan


  1. KRG
  2. 1 2 Galbraith, Peter (2006), The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War without End; Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-9423-8
  3. 1 2
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