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Barzani's Main Internal Opponents.

Barzani's most serious opponent is the leader of Iraqi Kurdistan's second largest party, the Movement for Change or Gorran in Kurdish, Nawshirwan Mustafa. A steely-eyed war hero, an intellectual and an aristocrat, Mustafa belongs to the historically wealthiest clan in Kurdistan from the eastern part of the region whose capital is Suleimaniya - Erbil's rival for a long time. Not like Barzani and other Kurdish leaders who are tribal, Mustafa is urban whose grand-father Emin Khider Mustafa was a financier of the Kurdistan Kingdom in Suleimaniya - the clan's base since the city was founded in 1784. Born in 1944, Mustafa is highly-educated and is fluent in German, English, Arabic and Persian. He joined the Barzani clan's Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in 1960. But he was allied with Barzani's opponents and quit the party before the KDP was split in 1975.

Mustafa joined Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and was its deputy secretary-general in 1976-06. He was also commander-in-chief of the feared PeshMerga forces in 1976-92. In March 2007 he set up a media empire, Wusha Corp, consisting of a TV network, a Kurdish/Arabic radio station, the widely-circulated Rozhnama weekly newspaper, and an online news website. Rozhnama campaigned against Talabani for his March 2008 sacking of his critics from the PUK. He founded Gorran in 2009. He is said to be so powerful in Kurdistan that he can ignite Kirkuk with a single phone call. Now he is the most serious rival of Barzani as a candidate to Kurdistan's presidency.

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Publication:APS Diplomat Operations in Oil Diplomacy
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Feb 22, 2016
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