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 Nawshirwan Mustafa made a big mistake by creating a separate list for Kurdistan parliamentary election

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Nawshirwan Mustafa made a big mistake by creating a separate list for Kurdistan parliamentary election  1.6.2009   

June 1, 2009

SULAIMANIYAH, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', —  Sheikh Ja’far Sheikhh Mustafa, a member of the leadership council of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party interviewed by Rudaw.

Q: After Nawshirwan Mustafa formed a list, how do you see the state of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)?

Sheikh Ja’far: Nawshirwan Mustafa made a big mistake by creating a separate list. And I expect that in the upcoming elections his list will not gain the same number of seats that they (his group) currently hold in the parliament and the provincial councils. It was better for them to stay within PUK, especially because Nawshirwan Mustafa was always the one responsible of forming the lists for the parliament…I support the existence of opposition and competition because in this way we can serve the nation better, uproot the corruption, fix the shortcomings, and initiate reform.                                 

Sheikh Ja’far Sheikhh Mustafa, a member of the leadership council of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.
Q: If you believe in opposition why don't you accept Nawshirwan Mustafa's list (Change List)?

Sheikh Ja’far: Because this list is separated from the body of PUK. Certainly we are not happy with the time was not appropriate to take such a step. I think this event serves the opponents of Kurdistan. If Nawshirwan Mustafa had (implemented) the reform and house-cleaning program that he talks about, within PUK, mot than 70 percent of the party would have (supported) him.

Q: And now how many PUK supporters are with him?

Sheikh Ja’far: In the elections it will become clear that he is not popular that much. His list will also face a great failure. What they say about their expectations for a great success in the elections is (exaggerated).

Q: Sometimes you hold Nawshirwan Mustafa for the corruption issues. Where does that come from?

Sheikh Ja’far: Corruption is a word that many people use without defining it. If our government and administration are corrupt then all the people who work in them share the blame. Sometimes Nawshirwan Mustafa has acted on the behalf of Jalal Talabani, the Secretary General of PUK. During the formation of the Kurdish government and the parliament, (the party) offered a number of top positions to Nawshirwan Mustafa but he rejected all of them. If he had accepted to work in the government he could have carried out the (reform) program that he is talking about today. Although we all like and respect him, but Nawshirwan Mustafa is responsible for all the ups and downs of PUK and the advantages and disadvantages of the government because he was a decision maker.

Q: Some people say when Mustafa lost hope at reform in PUK he decided to form a separate list.

Sheikh Ja’far: I believe that if Mustafa could not bring about any reform within PUK, despite the great authority and public and party support he enjoyed, he will not be able to do so with a few fellows. If his list could win 3 or 5 seats, for instance, what can he do with a few people? Even if they get a maximum of 10 (parliamentary) seats, which they will never see, what could they do? What decisions can they make? What can they change? The answer is that there will be majority and minority in the parliament.

Q: Is it true that any PUK supporter who does not vote to the Kurdistani List (PUK and KDP's joint list) will be dismissed from the party?

Sheikh Ja'far: The people in the organizations of a party should vote to the list of their own party otherwise they will immediately be dismissed from the party.

Q: Will you dismiss the government employees if they choose not to vote to your list?

Sheikh Ja'far: No, not at all. But he will be dismissed from the position he holds in the party and also from the party itself.

Q: Will the internal issues of PUK be resolved?

Sheikh Ja'far: For solving them it is likely that we hold a plenum before the elections. If not, after the elections we hold a congress through which certainly the integration and harmony will return to PUK. PUK will reorganize its organs and will consolidate itself.

Q: Does it mean that the issue of Change List will also be resolved?

Sheikh Ja'far: Definitely they will not be regarded as PUK members. As they made a separate list they announced their split from the internal regulations of the party. By the virtue of the same regulations they will be dismissed from the party. This decision should be made either in the plenum or in the congress. However, for now these people have no connections with PUK organs.

Q: But even till now PUK peshmargas are with them as guards. So how they cannot be PUK members?

Sheikh Ja'far: Not only their guards, even they themselves enjoy their privileges from Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Q: Would you please mention the name of those beneficiaries?

Sheikh Ja'far: Each one of them, either a police guarding their offices or an officer working in their media take their salaries from the government. But definitely the number of their guards will be reduced in the future. They are not dispossessed from their privileges so far. Some of them, despite enjoying their salaries, have 15 guards. Those who have retired need a driver and a guard but those top officials who work in party or in the government may need 50 guards.

Q: But according to our knowledge the officials of Wisha Company (Nawshirwan Mustafa's media Corporation) do not have this number of guards.

Sheikh Ja'far: Few of them have listed less than 15 or 20 peshmargas under their charge, except those who do not have any positions.

Q: According to your expectation how many seats the Kurdistani List will win?

Sheikh Ja'far: None of the other lists can compete with the Kurdistani List. Even if all the lists unite, Kurdistani List will win more than 70 per cent of the seats.

Q: What about your expectations for Change List?

Sheikh Ja'far: I doubt that they can win even 5 seats because for granting this number of seats at least they should win 100 thousand votes and this number of unsatisfied people does not exist in Kurdistan.

Q: What about the list of the coalition of the four parties?

Sheikh Ja'far: I think they can win more seats than the Change List. But, they will win fewer seats compared to the previous election.

Copyright, respective author or news agency, Rudaw net 


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