Fuad Masum

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Fuad Masum
Fuad Masum 2014.jpg
7th President of Iraq
In office
24 July 2014 – 2 October 2018
Prime MinisterNouri al-Maliki
Haider al-Abadi
Vice PresidentKhodair al-Khozaei
Nouri al-Maliki,
Osama al-Nujaifi
Ayad Alawi
Preceded byJalal Talabani
Succeeded byBarham Salih
Speaker of the Council of Representatives
In office
14 June 2010 – 11 November 2010
PresidentJalal Talabani
Preceded byAyad al-Samarrai
Succeeded byOsama al-Nujaifi
1st Prime Minister of Kurdistan Region
In office
4 July 1992 – 26 April 1994
PresidentSaddam Hussein
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byKosrat Rasul Ali
Personal details
Muhammad Fuad Masum
محەممەد فوئاد مەعسووم

(1938-01-01) 1 January 1938 (age 83)
Koya, Kingdom of Iraq
Political partyKurdistan Patriotic (1974–present)
Other political
Iraqi Communist (1962–1964)
Kurdistan Democratic (1964–1974)
Spouse(s)Rounak Abdulwahid Mustafa (1967–present)
Alma materUniversity of Baghdad
Al-Azhar University
ReligionSunni Islam

Muhammad Fuad Masum (Arabic: محمد فؤاد معصوم‎, romanizedMuḥammad Fū’ād Ma‘ṣūm; Kurdish: محەممەد فوئاد مەعسووم, born 1 January 1938) is an Iraqi Kurdish politician who served as the seventh President of Iraq from 24 July 2014 to 2 October 2018. He was elected as President following the 2014 parliamentary election.[1] Masum is the second non-Arab president of Iraq, succeeding Jalal Talabani, also Kurdish, and was a confidant of Talabani.

Early life and education[edit]

Fuad Masum was born in the city of Koya. He was the son of Sheikh Mohammed Mullah Fuad Masum, a former head of the Association of Muslim Scholars in Kurdistan, who belongs to an established political dynasty with Muslim clerical links.[2][3] His family descends from the village of Khabanen, which is part of Hawraman.[4] He studied at various religious schools in Iraqi Kurdistan until the age of 18. He studied law and Sharia at Baghdad University.[5] In 1958, Masum traveled to Cairo to complete his higher education at Al-Azhar University.[6] He worked as a professor in Basrah University in 1968.[5] He earned his PhD in Islamic philosophy from Al-Azhar in 1975.[5]

Political career[edit]

Communist Party[edit]

Masum joined the Iraqi Communist Party in 1962, until 1964, where he travelled to Syria to meet the Communist Party secretary there, Khalid Bakdash.[4] After Masum discovered Bakdash's attitudes against the Kurds, he quit the party to join the Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK).[7][8]

Kurdistan Democratic Party[edit]

In 1968, Masum was the PDK representative in Basra. He was also the representative of the Kurdish Revolution in Cairo until 1975.[4]

Patriotic Union of Kurdistan[edit]

Masum was one of the founders of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in 1976.[7] By 1992, he was the first Prime Minister of Kurdistan Region.[7] In 2003, following the invasion of Iraq, Masum returned to Baghdad to be a member of the delegation representing Kurdistan, and was a member of the constitution drafting committee.[4] In 2010, Masum became the first Speaker of the Council of Representatives.[5]


Masum with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Saadabad Palace

In 2014, he was elected by the parliament representatives as the seventh president of Iraq.[9] Masum won 211 votes while his closest competitor, Barham Salih,[9] a former Prime Minister of Kurdistan Region from October 2009 to April 2012, only received 17.[10] The decision was made during a secret vote of Kurdish MPs, who traditionally have control over the presidency for the sake of political balance.[9] United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was present in Iraq when the decision was made, meeting with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki about the need for a more inclusive government.[11] Masum accepted the position, noting the "huge security, political and economic tasks" he faces as president.[12]

On 26 August, Masum appointed a new prime minister, Haider al-Abadi.[13]

Masum's appointment of Haider al-Abadi as new prime minister was considered illegal by Nouri al-Maliki and in violation of the constitution.[14] Maliki said that in spite of his erosion of power it was his duty to remain in power because the appointment was a conspiracy rooted from outside of Iraq.[15] Al-Maliki referred the matter to the federal court claiming, "the insistence on this until the end is to protect the state."[16] However, on 14 August 2014, in the face of growing calls from world leaders and members of his own party, the embattled prime minister announced he was stepping down, paving the way for al-Abadi to take over.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Masum is married to Rounak Abdulwahid Mustafa and has five daughters: Shereen (b. 1969), Juwan (b. 1972), Zozan (b. 1977), Shilan (b. 1979) and Veian (b. 1982). He had a son, Showan (1973–1988), who died from a childhood illness.[18]


  1. ^ "Moderate Kurd leader elected as Iraq president". Iraq Sun. Archived from the original on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Biography of President Fuad Masum, new President of the Republic of Iraq". Iraqi Dinar. 24 July 2014.
  3. ^ "Iraq profile - leaders". BBC News. 11 August 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d "Who is Fuad Masum, the President of Iraq?". ALSUMARIA. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d "Who is Fuad Masum, the new Iraqi President?". BBC. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  6. ^ "Talabani's old time friend becomes candidate for Iraqi President | BAS NEWS". Bas News. Archived from the original on 27 July 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  7. ^ a b c "Who is the new Iraqi president, Fuad Masum Hawrami?". Al Hayat. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  8. ^ Heath-Brown, Nick (2017-02-07). The Statesman's Yearbook 2016: The Politics, Cultures and Economies of the World. Springer. ISBN 9781349578238.
  9. ^ a b c "Iraq selects senior Kurdish politician Fuad Masum president". World Bulletin. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  10. ^ "Iraq parliament elects Fuad Masum president: speaker". InterAksyon. Agence France-Presse. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  11. ^ "Iraq gets new president in Fuad Masum, UN chief Ban Ki-moon seeks more urgency". The Times of India. Agence France-Presse. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  12. ^ "Iraq elects Fuad Masum as president". The Hindu. Associated Press. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  13. ^ Madi, Mohamed (11 August 2014). "Profile: Haider al-Abadi, Iraqi PM in waiting". BBC News. Retrieved 2014-08-12.
  14. ^ "Power struggle on Baghdad streets as Maliki replaced but refuses to go". Reuters. August 2014. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  15. ^ Morris (August 13, 2014). "Maliki asserts 'duty' to cling to power in Iraq; Iran's supreme leader weighs in". Washington Post.
  16. ^ "Iraq's Incumbent PM Nouri Al-Maliki Grows More Isolated As He Clings To Power". Huffington Post. 13 August 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
  17. ^ "Baghdad's Shiites in bid to oust Kurdish president of Iraq". Rudaw. 14 September 2017. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  18. ^ "Who is Dr. Fuad Masum? | Iraqi Dinar News Today". Iraqi Dinar News Today. Archived from the original on 28 July 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014.

External links[edit]

Political offices
New office Prime Minister of Kurdistan Region
Succeeded by
Kosrat Rasul Ali
Preceded by
Ayad al-Samarrai
Speaker of the Council of Representatives
Succeeded by
Usama al-Nujayfi
Preceded by
Jalal Talabani
President of Iraq
Succeeded by
Barham Salih