|JALAL TALABANI, PUK
Under the command of the veteran Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani, the PUK has created militia forces and a party organisation to rival the traditionally dominant Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
The PUK, founded in June 1975, now claims to be a modern, social-democratic party with a membership of nearly 150,000.
The party's literature says the PUK was founded in order to "rebuild and redirect Kurdish society along modern and democratic lines".
Mr Talabani is a member of the Iraqi Governing Council.
Jalal Talabani's group sees itself as a modern, social-democratic party