The Change Movement (Gorran) said it is ready to cooperate and resolve the issues in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region on the principles of rule of law and sovereignty of institutions as well as balance and respect. Following the end of the second-day of funeral proceedings of Gorran leader Nawshirwan Mustafa on Sunday (May 21), party member Mustafa Said Qadir read a statement saying that Gorran will preserve the message and aims of Nawshirwan Mustafa and will continue to develop the party into the future. “We will develop the Change Movement day by day and we will extend our political and civilian struggle so as to stabilize our political programs and aims”, the statement read. Gorran added that the Kurdish nation is facing several crises as the party holds the funeral for the death of its leader. “We believe the principles of balance, respect, rule of law and sovereignty of the institutions are a factual way and a strong stimulation to attain all of our wishes”, the statement added. “On these principles, Gorran is ready to resolve all the issues and to cooperate completely”.
Change Movement (Gorran) said it welcomes serious efforts to resolve issues in the Kurdistan Region, adding that the party hopes that current issues will be resolved at their root. Gorran released a statement regarding the Kurdistan Region’s situation on Wednesday saying there have been attempts to silence the Kurdistan Region and its capital through the continued deactivation of the Kurdistan Parliament. “Attempts to subdue one voice and one color, frightening, politicalizing everything and monopolizing power, parliament, government, presidency, security institutions, banks, relation departments, markets and university are principles of the previous regimes and they have damaged the experience of the Kurdistan Region and the beautiful image of this city [Erbil]”, the statement read. The Kurdistan Parliament is the “only institution” to represent all the political parties and the people of the Kurdistan Region, Gorran said. “When the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) felt its bad philosophy of governance was facing changes and its private interests faced danger, it closed parliament and paralyzed the government”, the statement added. “Gorran hopes all the issues in the Kurdistan Region will be resolved at the root as soon as possible. In this regard, we welcome any serious effort and project which considers balance and public interest”, it stated. Regarding Kurdish independence and a referendum on the issue, Gorran said the party won’t allow a similar experience to that of South Sudan to be repeated in the region, adding that an independent Kurdistan should also not mirror a Saudi-like power structure. “We don’t want a state like Saudi [Arabia], where a group and a family have seized the nation’s benefits. We don’t want a person to give himself the right to remain on the chair of power and to be above law”, the statement said. Gorran also referred to an agreement with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) saying there are people within the PUK who are blocking the agreement from being carried out. “Total block to accomplish the agreement is inside the PUK. It is the PUK Leadership [that] doesn’t step up to fulfill it. They behave opposite of the content of the agreement. However, the small gang in the PUK who’re blocking the Gorran-PUK agreement will not stop our march, we will deal with the genuine PUK”.
Leader of the Change (Gorran) Movement, Nawshirwan Mustafa, returned back to Iraq’s Kurdistan Region on Saturday from a medical trip in London. Mustafa arrived early this morning into Sulaimani International Airport. His office had not previously provided a definitive time frame for Mustafa’s return to the Kurdistan Region, however the possibility of a May 9 return had been circulated according to a member of the Kurdistan Parliament from Gorran, Munira Othman, NRT reported. Mustafa went to Germany for medical treatment in September 2015. After his stay in Germany, he went to the U.K. for a “medical follow-up”. He returned to Kurdistan for a short time in April 2016. Shorsh Haji, spokesperson of Gorran told Rudaw that he was unaware of what prompted Mustafa’s return. Since then the Gorran head has been largely absent amid a political crisis that has threatened at times to destabilize the region. Gorran has 24 seats in now-closed Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament, the second most after the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
Recent frictions between the two parties have only deepened over the past weeks as Gorran’s acting Governor in Sulaimani Sardar Qadir resigned from office in protest against what he called lack of cooperation, and PUK’s increasing partnership with the dominant Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) to reopen the region’s parliament which has been closed since October 2015. The parliament was shut down after the KDP removed its Gorran Speaker Yousif Muhammad in retaliation for deadly riots that hit KDP offices in Sulaimani province nearly 2 years ago. The KDP has accused Gorran of masterminding the protests that killed several KDP members and wounded dozens more. The KDP has since opposed the return of the former speaker and asked the parties to reopen the parliament by electing a new speaker, something Gorran has insistently opposed. “If the parliament is reopened while the (current) speaker is removed, it will be against the agreement”, between the PUK and Gorran, said Mahwi Muhammad, head of Gorran office in Sulaimani referring to ongoing negotiations between the PUK and KDP to reopen the assembly. “We expect the PUK to officially announce the end of the agreement. It is true half of the PUK have opposed the deal but we still expect the other half to implement the agreement”, he added. The polemical PUK-Gorran pact sent shockwaves in Kurdistan Region when it was announced in May last year whose implementation could have upset the political order in the country dominated by the powerful KDP and its strategic alliance with the PUK. The deal would most notably allow PUK and Gorran to enter general elections on a joint ballot and consequently increase their chances to form the next Kurdish cabinet, which if implemented, would have diminished KDP’s dominance over government bodies since the 1990s. Gorran members have accused PUK of not “honouring” the deal not only in the parliament controversy, but also in Sulaimani province where both parties have the bulk of their power bases. According to Gorran of nearly 840 provincial posts in Sulaimani and Halabja, the party holds only 33 offices.
The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) has agreed on a change of the speaker of the now-paralyzed Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament, and is believed to be ready to suggest the idea to Change Movement (Gorran) in the next meeting between the two groups, a source said. The source further said that the KDP had agreed to reactivate parliament and that the speaker position would be given back to Gorran,which has the second most seats in parliament, but that the current speaker, Yusuf Mohammed Sadiq, should be replaced. “Following several meetings and talks, we could convince [Massoud] Barzani to accept the suggestion”, the source noted. The PUK will suggest the idea to the Change Movement in the next meeting between the two parties, the source said, but it is unclear whether Gorran would accept such a change.