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).
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.
The Iraqi Parliament held a session on Sunday to discuss the deactivation of the Kurdistan Parliament. The session was however postponed until Tuesday to make decisions on the region’s parliament. The Gorran bloc head called on the Iraqi Parliament to instead play an “effective role” in reactivating the region’s parliament. Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) lawmaker in the Iraqi Parliament, Muhsin Saadun, said the discussion of the region’s parliament by the Iraq Parliament in such a way was “unconstitutional”. Amar Tuma, Head of the Fazila bloc, called on the parties in the Kurdistan Region to reach a compromise saying the deactivation of the Kurdistan Parliament was an “incorrect job”. Crises inside Iraqi Kurdistan deepened after the five major political parties failed to reach an agreement on the Kurdistan presidency issue in October 2015, following the expiration of Massoud Barzani’s term as president. Barzani refused to step down and remains unofficially in office. According to the law, Barzani cannot run for presidency anymore but the KDP insists that Massoud Barzani should remain president of the region. Gorran says Barzani cannot run for presidency again.
The Kurdistan parliament is the only legitimate entity that should decide on conducting a referendum on independence of Kurdistan region of Iraq, the Gorran (Change) movement said in a statement released. The Gorran statement expressed concerns about the referendum being used by political parties as a screen to avoid addressing serious issues in the Region. “Taking steps towards Kurdistan independence should not be used as a means to avoid resolving the problems of Kurdish people and political auctions”. Instead, the party insisted that after conducting the referendum, practical steps must be taken to declare the independence of Kurdistan and providing the basics of a “citizenship state, legislation-oriented and national establishment”. The KDP and PUK formed a joint committee on Sunday to deal with the referendum issue, beginning with unifying political conversations through meetings with other political parties. The committee met the Islamic League (Komal), the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), and the Kurdistan Communist Party in Erbil on Monday to begin work to remove barriers for the referendum, which is expected to be held this year. Gorran has refused to meet with the KDP-PUK joint committee.
The Kurdistan Region’s Independent High Electoral and Referendum Commission (IHERC) said a referendum on the region’s independence will not be held without Kurdistan Parliament. IHERC Spokesman Shirwan Zrar said during NRT’s Tawte program on Sunday (March 26) the Kurdistan Region’s Presidency (KRP) has decided to hold an election but the referendum will come from parliament. I believe that authority comes from the Kurdistan Parliament’s Presidency”, Zrar said. “Kurdistan Parliament is the only institution for a decision and mandate regarding the decisive subjects, according to the first and second term of Article 56 and Law No. 1 in 1993”. The IHERC spokesman said the Kurdistan Parliament should be reactivated and a law on the referendum should be made, noting, “That law is very important”.