Talabani says wants to retire, but may change his mind

BAGHDAD / Iraqi President Jalal al-Talabani said that he wants to retire from his position at the end of his term in office later this year, but may change his mind if others insist that he continues in office. “Yes, I want to stand down as president of the republic and to take a period of rest to write my autobiography,” Talabani said in an interview with the London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper. Talabani added that he may reconsider his decision if his party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) or the masses ask him to run for another term in office. Talabani said that his autobiography will be written in both Arabic and Kurdish. Meanwhile, a PUK leader, Saadi Beera, told the newspaper that several political parties had contacted the president in an attempt to sway him from his decision to retire. “The political bureau of the PUK will ask its secretary general (Talabani) to run for another term in office…,” Beera added. SS (P) 1

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