PUK leader: Defeat of Nawshirwan's
reformist wing was due to vote-rigging by PUK
Translated by Dr Kamal Mirawdeli from Hawlati
newspaper, issue 9 Sep 07, p 5
Sulaimaniyah, Kurdistan region 'Iraq'
Interview with member of Patriotic Union of
Kurdistan (PUK) leadership Safini Mala Qara: "The
defeat of Nawshirwan's wing was due to vote-rigging
by the political bureau"
Hawlati interviewed member of PUK leadership Safini
Mala Qara on the results of the PUK party elections
last year , the failure of the reformist wing of
[the deputy leader of PUK] Nawshirwan Mustafa and
some other issues.
[Hawlati] At the beginning, what do you think about
the elections [last year] for the party centres of
[Safin Mala Qara] The elections were something new.
Although there were negative aspects but the
positive side was stronger. The negative aspects
were represented by the many violations that
happened in the elections. If these had not
happened, the elections would have been a very good
positive development. We must work to reduce these
negative interferences in the future elections.
Safini Mala Qara, member of Patriotic Union of
Kurdistan (PUK) leadership in Kurdistan region
[Hawlati] Can those who succeeded in the elections
participate in the next conference of PUK?
[Safin Mala Qara] No, it is not clear yet whether
those who succeeded in the elections would
participate in the next conference.
[Hawlati] It is said that the official in charge of
the [executive] committee [of PUK} and his two
deputes will have right to vote in the conference.
[Safin Mala Qara] This is just one of the
suggestions. This includes those who have been
elected to the centres’ councils together with the
seven members of [the organisation’s] bureaus. Some
people will also participate by acclaim. But these
are so far only suggestions.
[Hawlati] Only the general secretary of the party
[Jalal Talabani] does have right to select people to
the conference by acclaim or are there other people
too who have this authority?
[Safin Mala Qara] No. This power must belong to the
preparatory committee of the conference. They have
been given the authority to invite other people to
the conference especially those who were part of the
old leadership of PUK and were known figures within
the leadership of PUK.
[Hawlati] To what extent are you optimistic that in
the next conference of the PUK the young people can
be elected to the leadership of the party?
[Safin Mala Qara] In fact young people must have new
ideas and be able to adapt to the new changes, to
all changes in society and political formations.
They must spend serious efforts to educate and
create themselves. Fortunately these days many doors
are open to the young people to utilise their energy
and prove their existence in all the political,
social and cultural spheres. In relation to the
third conference of the PUK I expect that the young
people will play a good role and will have a more
front bench role. Perhaps in the third conference
each of the organisations of women, students and
youth will play an effective role and they might
select candidates for leadership of the party. This
will allow some people to be elected to leadership
by the organisations. This will be a new change and
I personally support this change that has been
demanded by many young people.
[Hawlati] Supporters within PUK have been divided
over some figures within the leadership of the
party. For example in Hawler (Arbil) people prefer
[deputy leader of PUK] Kosrat Rasul. There is some
connection between Erbil and Kosrat Rasul?
[Safin Mala Qara] No, I do not see it the way you
describe it. Before Kak [honorific] Kosrat joined
PUK there were many people inside and outside Erbil
who worked PUK members and worked to promote the
[Hawlati] It is also said that you are one of the
people on the reformist wing of the party and have
supported [former deputy leader] Nawshirwan Mustafa?
[Safin Mala Qara] Kak Nawshirwan is one of the old
and tired militants of the PUK ranks. Before
[becoming PUK deputy leader] he was the secretary of
the Kurdistan toilers party (Komala); he has a long
history of political and military struggle within
PUK ranks. We are proud of his friendship but as
political organisation I have no association with
Kak Nawshirwan whatsoever.
[Hawlati] But you are associated with his ideas and
way of thinking?
[Safi Mala Qara] He had a reformist plan which he
presented to the party with the aim of carrying out
reforms within the party. I considered t a good plan
and supported it because there is no doubt that PUK
[Hawlati] In the recent elections of PUK, large
amounts of money were used [to influence the
results] As we have known only in Erbil city 400,000
to 500,000 dollars were used for buying votes. As a
member of PUK leadership what do you thinking of
using money to buy votes?
[Safin Mala Qara] The elections were a good practice
in itself but the use of money distorted and damaged
the elections. The use of money worked to corrupt
party cadres and on the other hand created a lot of
injustice because [using money] is a Ba’sthist
principle and practice. The many violations and
shortcomings that happened in the process of the
elections made many people lose faith in elections
and not to ask for or participate in them again. I
ask that these shortcomings to be corrected and we
must ensure that they will never happen again.
[Hawlati] If the reformist wing refused to
participate in the conference, how do you see the
next PUK conference?
[Safin Mala Qara] I do not think there will be a
wing to decide to come to conference and another
wing that decided not to attend the conference. The
participation will be decided by the people who will
be identified for participation.
[Hawlati] Why did the reformist wing of Nawshirwan
fail to be elected to the centres’ committees?
[Safin Mala Qara] To explain this is a long story.
But I believe it was the interference and
vote-rigging by the political bureau in the
elections which created these results. It had been
agreed that the political bureau would in no way
interfere in the process of the elections, but
unfortunately they used the finances of the PUK and
the media of PUK to serve their own interests and
this was contrary to the principles agreed for the
[Hawlati] In the elections the wing of Kosrat Rasul
obtained a considerable number share of votes, does
not this mean popular support for Kosrat Rsaul
especially in Erbil?
[Safin Mala Qara] No it is not necessarily so. It is
more support for PUK rather than Kosrat Rsaul and
the reality was not as presented by newspapers and
media channels. But inside the city of Erbil, yes
his own personality had a role but all people know
how the elections were conducted.
- Translated by Dr Kamal Mirawdeli from Hawlati,
Sulaimaniyah, biweekly independent newspaper in
Sorani Kurdish, 9 Sep 07, p 5
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