Thursday, December 30, 2010

Roundup of Most prominent political events in Kurdistan in 2010

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Erbil, Dec. 30 (AKnews) – The Kurdistan Region of Iraq witnessed significant developments in the year 2010 and below is a chronological summery of the events.kongrai 13 pdk

On January 11, Parliament of Kurdistan Region voted Roj Nuri Shawayis as deputy Prime Minister to take over from Barham Salih who had officially stepped down earlier to head the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) as Prime Minister.

On January 17, After 36 trial sessions, Saddam Hussein's cousin, Ali Hasan Majid, notoriously dubbed "Chemical Ali" was sentenced to death for his role in a gas attack on the Kurdish town Halabja town in 1988 which killed 5,000 people and injured thousands. the sentence was the fourth passed by the Supreme Court against him. But the chemical attack was labeled "crime against humanity" rather than "Genocide" which the Kurds were seeking.

Majid was first sentenced to death in June 2007 for his role in the Anfal military operations against the Kurds in 1988. In December 2008 he also received another death sentence for his role in crushing the Shias in a revolt following the 1991 Gulf War. Also in March 2009, he was sentenced to death, along with others, for the 1999 killings of Shias in the Sadr City district of Baghdad.

On January 25, President of Kurdistan Region Massoud Barzani met with the US President Barrack Obama in Washington D.C. to discuss the disputed issues between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the central government of Baghdad.

On the same day, Chemical Ali was executed.

On March 1st, The Iraqi Supreme Court recognized the chemical attack on Halabja and the Anfal Operations against the Kurds as "Genocide" after the prosecution appealed with the court's previous decision to recognize them as "crime against humanity".

On March 7, Iraqi elections were held in the Kurdish region where political actors contested for 41 seats allocated to the three provinces of Erbil (14 seats), Sulaimaniyah (17 seats) and Dohuk (10 seats).

The Kurdistan Alliance list formed of the two major ruling parties - Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) - won the majority of the seats.

On March 11, the first Turkish consul in Erbil city Aydin Selcen officially started working.

On March 9, seat-winning Kurdish list in the Iraqi parliament  joined to form the Kurdish Blocs Coalition (KBC) to unite their forces in the capital Baghdad. KBC was formed of the Kurdistan Alliance which had won 43 seats in the March 7 selections, Gorran (8 seats), Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU 4 seats) and the Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG 2seats).

On May 21, the KIU led by Salahaddin Mohammed Bahaaddin held its party convention where elections for the party leader, leadership committee and the Consultative Council were held.

On June 1, the patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) led by Jalal Talabani held its third party conference attended by 1600 members in Sulaimaniyah. Talabani remained the leader of the party.

On June 2, invited by Turkey, for the first time as the President of Kurdistan Region, Massoud Barzani visited Turkey and met with Turkish President Abdulah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Teyyip Erdogan, and the Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu.

On July 15, the Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG) led by Ali Bapir held its second party convention with 690 members attending where Bapir was reelected Emir of the group.

On July 8, the New York Times newspaper published a story about oil smuggling in Kurdistan accusing the two major ruling parties of profiteering millions of dollars from the business prompting Kurdish officials to reject the accusations. The report also set off another dispute between Baghdad and the KRG.

On July 19, The KRG Council of Ministers ordered the prohibition of illegal exportation of oil.

On September 29, Gorran movement officially broke away from the KBC in the Iraqi parliament over disputes with the two ruling parties in the parliament of Kurdistan Region

On November 3, after long disputes and arguments between the factions in the Kurdish parliament, a bill to organize demonstrations was passed with a majority vote and the law was passed to the presidency of the region for final signature.

On November 8, the Iraqi political blocs gathered in Erbil in response to an initiative by the President of Kurdistan Region Massoud Barzani to break an 8-month stalemate over government formation.

After three meetings streched over three days, Barzani announced on November 11 in a press conference in Baghdad that the political blocs had reached a power-sharing deal to form the new Iraqi government.

On December 11, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) led by Massoud Barzani, held its 13th party congress where 1501 members attended the seven-day congress and Massoud Barzani was reelected the leader of the party.

For the first time in its history, the KDP allocateda quota of five women in the leadership committee.

After the four party conventions, the years 2010 was referred to by some observers as the year of the party conventions in Kurdistan.

On December 12, the President of Kurdistan Region signed on the demo bill prompting several successive protests in the cities and towns of Kurdistan Region organized by the opposition groups in Kurdistan (Gorran, KIU and KIG), journalists, and civil society organization on grounds that the law restricts the rights of people to demonstration because the law requires beforehand permit for any demonstration in the region.

On December 26, Egypt's Foreign Minster Ahmed Abul Gheit officially opened the Egyptian consulate in Erbil city, the capital of Kurdistan Region.

Prepared by Omar Ali, edited by Raber Y. Aziz

Thursday, December 30th 2010 10:10 AM