Sunday, January 30, 2011

Opposition group in Kurdistan calls for government reformation

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Erbil, Jan. 30 (AKnews) – A Kurdish opposition group, Gorran, has urged in a statement the government of the Kurdistan region to step down and called for regional elections to be held to replace the existing administration.listi hawpaymani u listi goran

Inspired by the uprisings in Tunisia, which have also spread across several other Arab countries, most notably Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, and Algeria, Gorran called for the Kurdish government and parliament to be disolved and for "free and fair" elections to be staged.

Gorran enjoys wide support in Sulaimaniyah city, Kuridstan's second largest city, where they headed the polls in the parliamentary elections. They have a significant minority of 25 seats in the 111-seat parliament of Kurdistan Region.

"As you can all see with your own eyes, the day for the fall of dictatorship regimes in most of the oppressing and closed countries of the world and the region has started" a statement by Gorran aired on its KNN satellite broadcaster said late last night.

"the people of Kurdistan were hoping that the authorities of the region take the opportunity of the emergence of this new experience (opposition) to democratize governance and to establish a real parliamentary system in addition to improving the quality of life of the people, creating jobs, developing opportunities for the youth, and nationalizing the security and defense services of the region and separating party influences from government authorities" the statement added.

While Gorran summarized its demands in 7 points which call for the toppling of the government, parliament, and the preparation of free and fair elections, it also called on all political parties and actors to show support for its demands as well as calling on the ruling parties to meet their "historical responsibilities" to implement the demands.

The group also called for the restoration of the government and people's properties "occupied by the parties and the officials" and the return of Kurdistan Region's constitution draft the final version of which was passed by the parliament in 2009.

Under the Kurdish constitution, Kurdistan is run by a parliamentary, presidential and democratic system. The territory of the Region, in addition to Erbil, Sulaimaniya and Dohuk provinces, includes some disputed areas which are to be determined by article 140 of the Iraqi constitution. Islam is identified as the majority creed and a major source for legislation. No law should contradict Islamic laws.

Immediately after the statement was aired on KNN, the presidency of Kurdistan and the two ruling parties responded to the call, describing the group as "vandalistic".

"Any change in the political system would be through the ballot boxes not through illegal and unconstitutional means," said a statement by the Kurdish Presidential Office, "because the current situation of Kurdistan was the outcome of a free and fair election."

A joint statement by the two ruling parties also accused Gorran of splitting the unity of the people of Kurdistan and the Kurdish Blocs Coalition (KBC) in Baghdad as well.

Gorran broke away in October 2010 from the KBC which brought together all Kurdish forces in Baghdad following disputes with the ruling parties over an Electoral Commission bill in the Kurdish parliament, and did not participate in PM Nuri al-Maliki's cabinet losing Kurds 8 seat's worth of government positions.

According to the points system (2.5 seats equaled 1 point) adopted by the Iraqi political forces to allocated government positions and ministries, where a public services ministry like electricity, and health was worth 2 points while lower-profile ministries like the Human Rights portfolio requires 1.5 points.

The joint statement also accused Gorran of adopting a "divisive attitude" which was dealt with by the ruling parties leniently to keep it "least damaging to the Kurdish forces and our people".

"Whatever lenient policies we practiced towards Gorran leaders, they were accompanied by efforts to solve the disputes with them," the statement added, "But it seems that the Gorran leaders have looked upon that lenience and the patriotic attitude as vide and weak"

The two major parties said they would counter any efforts to disrupt public order and the current situation of Kurdistan.

They said for any major or minor incidents in the streets, government offices, banks and other institutions, whether directly or indirectly resulting from Gorran's call, they would hold the party responsible and accountable, saying they "will subject them to legal punishment".

At the same time, the joint statement promised that the shortcomings and vices that the public are concerned about will be "definitely solved".

Raber Younis Aziz


Sunday, January 30th 2011 11:42 AM