Patriotic Union of Kurdistan Bylaws
Bylaws of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
1- Name: Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, hereafter given the acronym PUK.
2- Target regions and areas for activities: Kurdistan Region of Iraq, separated areas, other areas of Iraq and outside of the country.
PUK is a socialist democratic party, striving to establish peace and promote the values of freedom, democracy, citizenship, human rights and self-determination. The PUK believes in a culture of equality and tolerance.
Key words: peace, freedom, democracy, human rights, self-determination, social justice.
Logo: a hand holding and raising a wheat stalk, an olive branch with a tulip flower in the middle.
Anthem: Meshxelan shall be the official anthem of PUK.
These Bylaws shall be the supreme constitution of the PUK’s organizational work.
A quota of at least 20 percent women’s participation will be set. This shall be applied to all organs of the party, from committees up to leadership.
1- The presence of simple majority of members (50 percent + 1) shall constitute a quorum for holding meetings at all PUK organs.
2- The voting process for all PUK organs, except for ratification of articles, for which a different percentage shall be set, shall be by a simple majority of votes.
1- Membership in the PUK is open to all citizens of Kurdistan, Iraq and any person outside the country who adheres to the bylaws and programs of the PUK.
2- Membership and organizational work are to be arranged on geographical, occupational, and central electoral bases. Members who move to a different location of residency or to a different workplace shall ask their PUK organs to process a transfer of residency.
Article 7 : Terms of membership
1- A member must be aged 18 or over, and anyone over the age of 15 years can register in a PUK organ.
2- Applicants must submit a letter to apply for membership.
3- The member must comply with the Bylaws and strive to accomplish the objectives of the PUK.
4- The member must be active within an organ of the PUK.
5- The member must be of good character and reputation and have at least basic political and national awareness.
6- The member must pay a membership fee to PUK.
Article 8: Rights of Members
1- The right to vote in elections shall be given to all members as per the framework of the Bylaws, and members can nominate themselves for positions within the PUK organs.
2- Members are entitled to ask questions, make suggestions and pose critiques, whether in written or verbal form, in regard to political, organizational or financial issues, or in regard to the actions of other members or other PUK organs, through their own organ.
3- Members with talents in the areas of writing, arts or sports are entitled to petition the PUK for support in these endeavors.
4- Members are entitled to financial assistance from the PUK during sickness, after accidents or disasters or following any other unexpected and unfavorable event.
5- Members who join the occupational cadres will be given salaries according to the nature of their jobs within the PUK. All privileges will be distributed equally and all members are entitled to the benefits of retirement taken because of sickness or age.
6- Members who have served many years in the PUK will be honored financially and compassionately according to a plan devised by a special committee of PUK Leadership.
7- Members are entitled to self-defense.
Article 9 : Duties of Members
1- He or she shall loyally strive to accomplish PUK’s goals.
2- He or she shall protect the unity of the PUK.
3- He or she shall oppose factionalism and favoritism for a particular geographical area or tribe.
4- He or she shall make efforts to raise his or her political, intellectual and national awareness.
5- He or she shall keep the secrets of the PUK in full confidentiality. He or she shall not hide the truths from the PUK.
6- He or she shall defend the PUK’s policies and programs and its sovereignty.
7- He or she shall keep the interests of the PUK above their own interests while keeping the nation’s interests above all.
8- He or she shall work to gain supporters and voters for PUK.
9- He or she shall protect the rule of law, human rights and rights of the environment.
10- He or she shall pay a membership fee which is set and regulated by the Organization Office.
Removal of Members
A member can be removed as a result of death, resignation or expulsion.
Article 11: Types of penalties
1- Notice of warning: Organizational committees and centers are entitled to draw attention to possible negligence or violations of work instructions through notices of warning.
2- Membership suspension: The Organizational Office can suspend the membership for three to six months of a member for negligence or violation of PUK instructions or laws after warning notices have been sent and upon the request of an organizational center.
3- De-promotion: After being given warning notices and having been suspended, a member who continues to engage in violations is subject to de-promotion to a lower position within the PUK upon request of the Organizational Center. The Organization Office will be charged with putting such a de-promotion request into effect.
4- Expulsion: A member is subject to expulsion as a result of the following:
1- If the member works against the interests of the nation or homeland.
2- If the member joins another political party.
3- If the member works against PUK’s policies or attempts to destabilize its unity.
4- If the member reveals the PUK’s secrets.
5- If the member campaigns against PUK’s candidates and its programs during election campaigns.
6- If the member breaches the Bylaws of PUK.
7- If the member, in whatever position he or she holds, commits a crime, as proven by the court, which brings shame and disgrace .
The decision for expulsion of a member shall be issued by the Leadership Committee.
If a member who has been expelled does not consider the penalty to be fair, he or she shall be entitled to the right of appeal to the higher organs where he or she had worked, or to a petitions commission, or by means of inquiry to the Central Council.
Any member who has lost his or her membership or resigned from the PUK, except for those who have committed a crime which has brought shame, shall be entitled to re-apply for membership.
Article 14 :
A Conference shall be held every three years and its members will be the supreme authority of the PUK. The next Conference will be held in October 2013.
Article 15 :
The total number of Conference members shall not exceed 1000 persons under any circumstances.
Conference members will consist of:
A- Representatives of Organizations, who shall be elected on the basis of elections, according to the proportion given.
B- Members of the Leadership Committee and the Central Council.
C- Former members of the PUK Political Bureau and Leadership Committee.
D- Members of the Office, Council and Peshmargas of 1976, Peshmarga veterans, political prisoners, members of Veterans Organizations, Partisans and the disabled are entitled to become Conference members without advance elections according to the proportion given.
E- The Secretary General in consultation with the Leadership Council can elect 120 members.
F- Women members of the conference will be set at a legal quota of 20 percent.
G- The Supreme Preparatory Committee will elect a percentage of Conference members from PUK organs within the Kurdistan region and from Iraqi parliaments, as well as from overseas representatives, ministers, ambassadors, and members of government offices and other organizations.
H- The remaining would-be conference members shall be determined by elections.
100 inspectors of different specialties will be invited upon the decision of the Secretary General and in consultation with Leadership Committee for consultative purposes who will not be entitled to vote in the Conference.
1- A commission shall be established to be called the Supreme Preparatory Commission of the Conference upon the authority of the Leadership Committee.
2- The Supreme Preparatory Commission of the Conference in cooperation with the Elections Council shall conduct necessary preparations for the Conference six months before the Conference is launched.
3- The Supreme Preparatory Commission of the Conference and the Elections Council shall be responsible for reviewing the list of names of the elected Conference members according to standards specified in the Bylaws.
If the Conference is not held for whatever reason, a Plenum will be authorized to postpone the Conference for three to six months for a limit of one postponement. If the Conference is not held after that period, the Leadership shall lose its legitimacy.
1- If more than half of the total number of members are present during the Conference, the Conference will retain its legitimacy.
2- Approval of reports and decision-making during the Conference will be by simple majority vote.
Article 20 : Duties and powers of the Conference
1- Election of the Secretary General
2- Election of the Leadership Committee and members of the Central Council
3- Evaluation and approval of the general report by the Secretary General
4- Reviewing and amending of the PUK programs and its Bylaws
5- Assessment of the status of the PUK and adoption of possible new policies to determine PUK’s political doctrines
6- Discussion of issues which the Conference sees as necessary and upon which decisions shall be made
7- Ruling on petitions and complaints submitted
8- Evaluation of the government’s affairs
9- Issuing of final declaration
Article 21: Extra-ordinary Conference
1- The extra-ordinary Conference shall be held when a crisis or a crucial event takes place.
2- Upon the request of the General Secretary or three-fourths of Leadership Committee members or three-fourths of Central Council members, an extra-ordinary Conference shall be held.
3- The decision to hold an extra-ordinary Conference shall be made at least one month prior to holding it.
4- The extra-ordinary Conference shall have the same powers as the ordinary Conference..
5- Members of the previous Conference shall be members of the extra-ordinary Conference.
Article 22 : Inclusive Meeting (Plenum)
1- An Inclusive Meeting shall be held to review the work and affairs of the PUK upon the request of the Secretary General or two thirds of Leadership Committee members or two thirds of Central Council members.
2- Plenum participants shall consist of the Secretary General, members of the Leadership Committee and Central Council, and members of Office, boards and councils of the organizational centers.
3- The Plenum shall have all the powers of the Conference except for the power to change programs or the Bylaws or to elect a new Secretary General.
4- The Plenum shall be authorized to replace one third of the members of the Leadership Committee and the Central Council.
Formation of the Leadership Committee
Article 23 :
The Leadership Council consists of the Secretary General and members of the Leadership Committee.
The Secretary General shall be directly elected during the Conference.
Terms to become a candidate for Secretary General:
1- The candidate shall not be less than 40 years old.
2- The candidate shall be of good character and good reputation with a good knowledge of politics and who has served the nation and the PUK well.
3- The candidate shall be a member of the PUK for at least 10 years.
Electing the Secretary General
1- If there is one candidate for the General Secretary’s post, the person shall directly become the Secretary General.
2- If there are two or more candidates, they shall be elected by the absolute majority of votes. If no one can win the absolute majority of votes, the two candidates receiving the most votes shall run for the second round and anyone who receives the majority of votes shall be the winner.
Duties and powers of the Secretary General
1- Be responsible for the decisions and policies of the PUK
2- Assign his or her deputy from members of the Leadership Council to which he or she can delegate some of his or her responsibilities.
3- Suggest candidates for an Administration Body of the Leadership Council.
4- Represent the PUK in all political forums and meetings.
5- Be authorized to assign members of the Leadership Committee and chiefs of the PUK organs.
6- Be responsible for implementing the decisions of the Conference and Leadership Council.
7- Chair the meetings of the Leadership Council.
8- Make statements on behalf of the PUK.
9- Assign a member of the Leadership Committee to be the spokesperson of the Committee.
10- Be responsible for organizing the financial affairs and incomes of the PUK, and act as an overseer of the Financial Monitoring Body and other special foundations.
11- Act as tie breaker in cases in which votes are equally divided in the Leadership Committee.
12- Supervise all relations at Kurdistan, national and international levels.
13- Be authorized to found a consultative council consisting of five persons.
14- Prepare the general report for the Conference and Plenum.
1- In the event of the Secretary General’s absence from his or her post for whatever reason, an extra-ordinary Conference shall be held within two months.
2- The deputy of the Secretary General shall perform all duties of the Secretary General until the extra-ordinary Conference is held.
1- The Conference shall elect the members of the Leadership Committee, which consists of 50 members. 40 of these members, including the Secretary General, shall be elected by the Conference, and the remaining 5 members shall be assigned upon the request of the Secretary General of Leadership Committee. Also, the Conference shall elect five more members to serve as substitute members in order of votes they have gained.
2- A quota of 20 percent women members of the Leadership Committee shall be set.
3- Nomination for Leadership Committee membership shall be on an individual basis.
Terms to become a member of the Leadership Committee:
1- He or she must be not less than 25 years old.
2- He or she must be of good character and reputation. His or her knowledge of politics must be at a suitable level.
3- He or she must not have assisted the former (Iraqi) regime.
The election of the members of the Leadership Committee shall be by majority of votes.
Article 32 : Duties and powers of the Leadership Committee
1- Act as the supreme executive body of the PUK at two Conferences.
2- Implement and conduct follow-ups on decisions and recommendations issued during two Conferences.
3- Outline general policies at internal and external levels and promote the PUK’s relations with other parties.
4- Outline programs and plans necessary to participate in general elections as well as ways to create alliances with other parties.
5- Establish a consultative body consisting of experts and those of various specialties so as to benefit from their expertise when applicable.
6- Assign annual budgets to offices and foundations according to their capacity and needs.
7- Maintain and specify relations between the PUK and the government.
8- In addition to those powers given above, the Leadership Committee shall be authorized to implement all other powers mentioned in these Bylaws.
1- The Leadership Committee shall hold its ordinary meeting every two months.
2- At the request of the Secretary General or at the request of at least half of its members, the Leadership Committee can hold extra-ordinary meetings.
Members shall not use their power for trade-related activities which may generate financial advantage and they cannot become partners in any business project.
A two-thirds majority of members shall be required to suspend the membership of a member who has violated the Bylaws of PUK or the action rules of the Leadership Committee.
1- Formation: The Political Bureau will consist of nine to eleven members of the Leadership Committee, who are selected by the Secretary General and elected by the Leadership Committee.
2- Duties and powers:
A- Act as an executive body to implement the recommendations of the Leadership Committee between two Conferences.
B- Act as an overseer and advice-giving body for the PUK organs, promoting their organizational work from political, intellectual and popular points of view.
C- Promote PUK’s relations with other parties.
D- Form a Secretariat consisting of seven persons under the supervision of a member of the Leadership Committee, which is tasked with conducting affairs and decision-making and other administrative issues including correspondence management.
3- Administrative Body:
A- The Secretary General shall assign three members of Political Committee to form the Administrative Body. One of them shall become the chief to implement and monitor the decisions of the Political Bureau and conduct its daily tasks.
4- The chief shall not hold any other position.
1- The Central Council shall consist of 101 members. 81 of them shall be assigned by election and the remaining shall be assigned by the Secretary General, in consideration of geographical location, standards for personal status , and expertise in various specialties.
2- A quota of not less than 20 percent women members of the Central shall be set.
3- The Central Council shall designate a secretary with two deputies and a decision-maker from within its members.
4- The secretary shall not be less than 40 years old.
5- Members of the Central Council shall not be less than 25 years old.
6- The secretary and the secretariat of the Central Council shall not take any other post.
7- Members of the Central Council shall not hold any other position within the PUK’s organs or work outside the PUK.
The secretary of the Central Council shall have direct organizational contact with the Secretary General, and at the request of Secretary General, he or she can attend meetings of the Political Bureau when necessary.
Duties and powers of the Central Council
1- Act as an overseer of PUK’s organs and be responsible for creating special instructions to arrange its affairs.
2- Create and regulate an action plan for itself.
3- No member without consent of the Central Council shall become a member of the Office.
4- The Central Council shall be authorized to suspend or remove any member of the Office by a majority of votes.
5- The Central Council shall be authorized to request further information by formal letter of any organ over any issue and be authorized to send delegates to any of these organs.
6- At the request of two-thirds of its members, the Central Council shall be authorized to summon the chief of any organ for questioning.
7- The Central Council shall enforce important agreements related to national and decisive issues and the interests of the PUK and its election-related alliance that are first assigned as necessary by the Leadership Committee by the two-thirds of votes.
8- The Central Council shall endorse candidates for general elections, provincial councils, and internal councils.
9- The Central Council shall enforce the regulations of the Office and other institutions.
Members of the Central Council shall enjoy full freedom of expression as given in the framework of the Central Council’s regulations, and they shall not be held accountable for their opinions in the Central Council.
1- In the event that the secretary, a member of the Secretariat or any other members of Central Council violates or breaches the Bylaws of the PUK or its regulations, the Central Council shall be able to suspend the membership of that person by two-thirds of the votes.
2- In the event of any vacancy(ies) occurring in the membership of the Central Council, the vacancy(ies) shall be filled with person(s) who have won votes during the Conference by two-thirds of votes of the Central Council .
The following commissions shall belong to the Central Council, and they shall submit a periodical report to it.
1- Human Rights Commission
2- Integrity Commission
3- Petitions and Complaints Commission
4- Bylaws Commission
The Central Council shall be authorized to establish specialized commission(s) when necessary.
Article 43 :
A Human Rights Commission consisting of five to seven members shall be tasked with monitoring the status of human rights in the PUK organs.
An Integrity Commission consisting of five to seven members shall be tasked with investigating the misuse of political positions for personal interest. This committee shall benefit in this regard by reports from financial supervision and investigation committees.
A Petitions and Complaints Commission consisting of three members shall have the following duties:
1- Organize the petitions and complaints submitted
2- Investigate and then make decisions on problems raised by the Leadership Committee, the Central Council, the Office, and the Institutions.
A Bylaws Commission consisting of five members shall have the following duties:
1- Act as an overseer to ensure that regulations and decisions made are in compliance with the articles of the Bylaws of the PUK.
2- Interpret the Bylaws.
3- Prepare a proposed draft of Bylaws for the next Conference.
4- Act as an overseer to evaluate the affairs and actions of the organs, conduct follow-ups on their work, and investigate any shortcomings.
Offices and Institutions
Offices and Institutions:
1- Organization Office
2- Finance and General Administration Office
3- Financial Supervision Institution
4- Democratic Organizations Office
5- Martyrs Office
6- Peshmarga and Figures Veterans Service Institution
7- Public Relations Office
8- Election Office
9- Media Office
10- Monitoring and Follow-up Office
11- Social (Relations) Office
12- Cadres Training and Capacity Building Academy
1- Chiefs of the offices and institutions shall be the members of the Leadership Committee
2- All chiefs shall assign a member of their office to act as their deputy to assist them when necessary.
3- Chiefs of offices and institutions shall not have any other job.
4- Chiefs of offices and institutions shall be held responsible for their actions by the Administrative Body.
5- Each office and institution shall set up its own regulations which shall be in compliance with the Bylaws and which shall be approved by the Central Council.
6- Each office and institution shall hold its annual Conference to discuss its duties and outline plans to promote itself.
7-In the event that a chief of an office or institution resigns and his or her resignation is approved, his or her assistant will act as chief until the Leadership Committee assigns a new chief.
8- Each office or institution shall establish its own council.
9- Each office shall assign an advisor when necessary.
1- An office or institution shall consist of members who are selected by the Office chief according to their specialties.
2—The Office chief shall submit a request letter for assignment of members of the office to the Central Council for approval.
3- In the event that the Central Council rejects the request to assign members, the relevant office shall be authorized to re-submit the request.
3- In the event that the request is rejected for the second time, the final decision shall be made by the Central Council.
1- The Organization Office shall consist of nine members, two of whom will be women, which shall be the supreme organizational body tasked with managing all organizational organs and outlining the general organizational plan.
2- The various organs of the Organization Office shall consist of offices, sub-committees, divisions by geographical area, or any other organs that the Organization Office deems necessary to exist.
3- The Departments of the Organization Office shall be organization, supervision, evaluation, statistics, finance and management, media and intellectual capacity building.
Duties and powers of the Organization Office
1- Direct guidance of organizations in terms of organizational affairs and political and popular activities.
2- Evaluation of all aspects of organizations.
3- Suggest the establishment of new offices and aligning these offices with the Leadership Committee.
4- Issuing necessary instructions to establish sub-committees, divisions, or any other organs.
5- Classification of all members on the basis of their titles and duties.
Article 52 : Office Council
1- The Office Council shall be the supreme authority at the Office level, tasked with executing the general organizational affairs and activities of the PUK.
2- The Council shall consist of a chief, a deputy, administrative persons and chiefs of sub-committees. All of these persons, except the chief of the Office, who shall be a member of the Leadership Council, shall be elected during the office Conference.
3- The chief of the Office shall be responsible for administering organizational affairs within the boundaries of his or her Office’s authority, and develop plans necessary to advance the Office’s duties in organizational, political, intellectual and popular aspects.
4- The Office within the boundaries of its power shall represent the PUK.
5- The administrative body (of an office) shall consist of seven members, two of whom shall be women. All members shall be elected by majority vote during the Office Conference.
6- The Office shall consist of the following sections: organizational, supervision, and evaluation, finance and management, statistics, public relations, intellectual affairs and media affairs.
7- The Office shall be authorized to suggest creation of new sub-committees and divisions to the Organization Office.
Article 53: Sub-committees
1- The sub-committees shall consist of bodies tasked with supervising the PUK’s activities within its geographical boundaries of power.
2- The sub-committees shall be authorized to suggest the development of new sections in the Office.
3- The sub-committee council shall consist of a chief, two administrative persons, and chiefs of sections, all of whom shall be assigned by election.
Finance Office and General Administration
1- The Finance Office and General Administration shall consist of seven members tasked with supervising the financial, administrative and economic affairs of the PUK.
2- It shall be also tasked with establishing and promoting economic projects and other sources of income for the PUK.
3- It shall also act as overseer of all incomes and expenses of the PUK inside and outside the country.
4- It shall submit its annual report to the Secretary General every December and send a copy to the Leadership Committee.
Financial Supervision Institution
1- The Financial Supervision Institution shall consist of seven members, all of whom, including its chief, shall be specialized persons.
2- It shall act as an overseer to the expenditure and income-generating processes in all PUK organs, Offices, and other institutions.
3- It shall have direct contact with the Secretary General.
4- It shall submit its periodic and annual reports to the Secretary General.
Democratic Organizations Office
1- The Democratic Organizations Office shall consist of seven members.
2- It shall supervise the occupational and democratic organizations.
3- It shall establish coordination with syndicates, non-governmental organizations and other civil society institutions.
4- It shall form a council called the Council of Organizations consisting of members of the Democratic Organizations Office, chiefs of occupational organizations, and members of democratic centers that shall hold a meeting every three months under the supervision of the chief of the Democratic Organization Office to deal with the affairs of all these organizations.
5- It shall establish democratic coordination with all offices and sub-committees.
1- The Martyrs Office shall consist of seven members.
2- It shall supervise all affairs related to martyrs.
3- It shall ensure the rights of martyrs according to the regulations and procedures of the PUK and the government.
4- It shall develop plans to honor the martyrs, arrange commemoration events, and record their histories of strife.
5- It shall establish a special department tasked with supervising the needs and work of generations of martyrs, which shall be run by itself.
Peshmargas and Figures Veterans Service Institution
1- The Peshmarga and Figures Veterans Service Institution shall consist of five to seven members.
2- It shall offer worthy services and tributes to the Peshmarga veterans and political prisoners.
3- It shall conduct follow-ups of their demands and provide for their equal rights according to regulations and procedures.
4- It shall advocate for their dignity and appreciate their past efforts
5- It shall defend the Peshmarga veterans in the event their rights are breached in any foundation in which they work.
Public Relations Office
1- The Public Relations Office shall consist of nine members.
2- It shall be tasked with organizing and promoting PUK’s relations with other political parties in the Kurdistan region, in Iraq and outside the country.
3- It shall consist of various divisions, each of which shall be supervised by an Office member.
1- The Election Institution shall consist of five to seven members tasked with preparing and supervising elections at all stages, including preparing a list of voters and candidates, broadcasting the principles and instructions of the election campaigns, organizing the voting process, vote-counting, investigating petitions, and announcing election results.
2- It shall supervise all elections provided for in the Iraqi constitution and Iraqi and Kurdistan regional parliaments, as well as all internal elections in the PUK organs.
3- It shall specify those departments and duties approved by the election commission in the Conference in its sub-bylaws.
The Election Institution shall be provided with all its technical and financial needs by the Leadership Committee. In addition, the Leadership Committee shall provide its training needs both inside and outside of the country, and in that manner improve the capacity of its cadres.
1- The Media office shall consist of seven members.
2- It shall be tasked with disseminating the PUK’s views and messages through all communication means such as TV, radio and print sources, promoting intellectual knowledge, a culture of tolerance, and the importance of human rights and democracy. It shall also promote a sense of unity and nationalism and a sense of citizenship and stability.
3- It shall act an overseer of other media foundations.
4- It shall outline the PUK’s differences with other parties within the public view.
Supervision and Follow-up Office
1- The Supervision and Follow-up Office shall consist of seven members from the office.
2- It shall supervise all affairs of various PUK organs and conduct follow-ups on these affairs.
3- It shall investigate shortcomings of the organs and prepare reports on such shortcomings, which shall be then submitted to the Leadership Committee.
Social Relations Office
1- The Social Relations Office shall consist of five to seven members, which shall be headed by a member of the Leadership Committee.
2- It shall make efforts to solve social problems and promote good relations among all public groups in consideration of the rule of law and prevention of any breaches of laws.
Cadres Training and Capacity Building Academy
1- The Cadres Training and Capacity Building Academy shall consist of experts and those with specific specialties according to the PUK’s needs.
2- It shall run training courses for PUK cadres inside and outside the country.
3- It shall be tasked with filing and documenting all PUK historical records.
4- It shall publish an intellectual magazine
5- It shall investigate the state of modern research and ideas and conduct forums and conferences in this capacity
6- It shall conduct periodic studies on events occurring at regional and global levels as well as of the views of local people, which shall be turned in to the Leadership Committee and organs.
1- The Organization Office shall be authorized to shape the organizational structure of the Offices within a period of six months, doing so in consideration of the cities, districts, sub-districts, separate areas and other areas .
Any decisions made within PUK organs, offices, or institutions which are not in accordance with these Bylaws shall be considered invalid.
Given that these Bylaws have been approved by the Third Conference, they shall enter into force.