Interesting to see Kurdish authorities, parties and young professionals react to the wave of demonstrations sweeping the region.
The main opposition party in the Kurdish region, Gorran (“change” in Kurdish), has tried to raise its voice. They scheduled a major protest for Monday morning, and it has already been deemed illegal by the government (under the new law requiring demonstrators to register beforehand). Several local NGOs, who were already planning to protest electricity prices, government salaries and a few other partly unrelated issues, decided to pull the plug and postpone their demonstrations, in an effort to stay out of these party skirmishes. But Gorran might very well go ahead with its own.
Here’s an email sent today by a Gorran official to journalists and supporters:
Date: Sunday, January 30, 2011, 12:41 AM
I hope you are well, I would like to furnish you with some of the main
points of Gorran’s statement to the citizens of the Kurdistan region.
1. Bringing an end to KDP & PUK leadership interference in the areas
of Government, Civil Service, Parliament, Courts, Security forces
(Asayish) and the Peshmerge.
2. Bringing an end to the interference of Ayaish, both intelligence
services (zaniyarî and parastin) and Peshmerge in the political
affairs of citizens and activities of the population. replacing the
heads of these organisations with people who are independent and
3. The dissolution of the current government and formation of a
technocratic independent caretaker government.
4. The dissolution of the current parliament.
5. Call new elections for the Kurdistan parliament that are free and
fair within the next 3 months.
6. The return of property of the state that has been taken over by
political parties and politicians.
7. withdrawal of the proposed regional constitution and all
legislation relation to the governance of Kurdistan until the
formation of the next parliament.
Bold demands, no question. How are the ruling parties reacting? Check out Qubad Talabani’s view, he’s the Representative of the Kurdistand Regional Government in the U.S. Here’s an excerpt:
No one is doubting the need to improve governance and the delivery of services in Kurdistan. But it is unfortunate, that rather than use the political process, Gorran’s leadership and a few of their supporters from outside of Sulaimani want to take advantage of peoples genuine complaints, and use this opportunity to sow trouble and attempt to destabilize the city of Sulaimani.
People are genuinely concerned that because [sic] Gorran has failed to utilize its position in Kurdistan’s politics, and is losing credibility with its supporters, that their only hope now is to try to foment instability and try to benefit from it.
Let’s see what happens on Monday. It’s raining like hell here in Sulaimani, to add to the drama…