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”.
Anna Gomes, a Portuguese member of the European Parliament, said during a conference over Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s situation is planned for next month and Kurdistan Parliament Speaker Yusuf Mohammed Sadiq will be invited. Gomes held talks in the European Parliament building with a Kurdish delegation, which included representatives of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the Change Movement (Gorran), the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), and the Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG). The conference will be held in an aim to discuss ways to overcome the Kurdistan Region’s current situation and the party representatives will also be invited, said Gomes.
Speaking to reporters in Baghdad, Abadi said the time is not ripe for a referendum, with ISIS on the doorstep, running parts of the country. Referring to comments by some Kurdish leaders who claimed holding a referendum does not mean the declaration of independence, Abadi said “Some say we will hold referendum, but we’re not going to implement it. Then what will you have to tell your people if you are to hold referendum and not implement it”. He reiterated Baghdad’s message to Erbil that “we frankly say, it will not be in the interest of the Kurdistan Region to hold a referendum at this time. I, as the prime minister, have to take the interests of my citizens into consideration. In my opinion holding referendum is not in their interest, but will create a set of problems for them. Being in a hurry in this subject is equal to a withdrawal from all the victories that have been achieved in the past”. He gave the short-lived Republic of Mahabad in Iranian Kurdistan which lasted less than a year as an example of a failure in the Kurdish movement in the region. The time was not right for the Republic of Mahabad, leading to its collapse. Abadi’s message to the Kurdistan Region was to not repeat the same experience. Commenting on the controversial flag issue in Kirkuk, Abadi said “Too much attention has been paid to the raising of the Kurdistan flag in Kirkuk. A solution to this subject has to be found. Our words with regards to this matter are clear. According to law, they do not have the right to hoist flags on the governmental buildings. Also, according to law, the Kirkuk governmental institutions are part of Iraq and the Iraqi government raises only the Iraqi flag”. Explaining a suggestion he sent to the Kurdistan Region authorities through a joint Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) delegation who visited Baghdad earlier this month, Abadi said “I suggested to them to take down the flags on the governmental buildings and put them on the political parties’ buildings instead. Then it becomes another subject, which I, as the prime minister, will not get involved in.”On the same question, he pointed out, “I talked to many politicians on the issue of the Kurdistan flag who were against it. But now they have done the job and cannot stand against it, believing that it is political rhetoric”.
Ali Awni, a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leadership said the efforts are now concentrated on getting all the Kurdish sides to reach a consensus over the independence, noting that the referendum is a momentous move. Speaking to BasNews, Awni said a conclusive historic time is ahead the two major Kurdish parties, namely KDP and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). He argued that Kurds have lost hope in coexistence and partnership in Iraq. The official said the independence referendum has been discussed with all Iraqi factions and foreign envoys. “We have made our decision to hold a referendum, and this wish of Kurdistan people should be respected”, said the official. He added that “the KDP-PUK meetings will result in a referendum and then independence”.