London (KurdishMedia.com) 30 June 2009:
High ranking PUK officials have over 51,000 guards, reported Kurdish daily Rojname on Tuesday.
The personal guards of a handful of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan or PUK is 51,358, reported Kurdish daily Rojname on Tuesday.
Rojname reported that 18 PUK officials have over 51,000 personal guards. Each party official has his own army. These can only be defined, according to Rojname, as personal militia, which is illegal under the Iraqi constitution. Their annual salary amounts to 500 billion Iraqi Dinars (over $520MUS), which constitutes 5 percent of the Kurdistan Regions budget.
The PUK general secretary, Jalal Talabani, who is also the president of Iraq, alone has 10,000 guards.
Rojname did not report on the situation of the Kurdistan Democratic Party or KDP, led by Massoud Barzani, which KurdishMedia.com informed by reliable sources that their officials have more guards that the PUK. 'Sipay Barzan' or the Barzan Army alone, the militia of Barzan region, is over 6,000 strong men. No one knows the size of the KDP Asayish and Parastin.