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 Kurdish opposition 'Gorran' likely to decide on withdrawal from KBC today

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Kurdish opposition 'Gorran' likely to decide on withdrawal from KBC today  29.10.2010  

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October 29, 2010

SULAIMANIYAH, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — A Kurdish lawmaker said the Gorran (Change) Movement, led by Nawshirwan Mustafa, may decide Friday whether to withdraw from the Kurdish Blocs Coalition (KBC).

The KBC, formed from all the Kurdish lists that ran for March parliamentary elections, has as whole 57 seats in the Iraqi parliament. Gorran has eight deputies in the coalition.

Recently the movement threatened to withdraw from the KBC if its position is "disregarded" in the Kurdistan parliament.

A dispute over the mechanism for ratifying the bill for setting up a Kurdistan high electoral commission sparked the tension.                       

Azad Chalak from Gorran Movement told AK news the party met with the KBC Thursday to converse on the prospect of the party's withdrawal, adding it may announce the final decision Friday.

Commenting on the reasons for the pull out, Chalak pointed the finger at the leading parties in the Kurdistan Region. He accused the authority in the Region of "firing over 500 Gorran supporters as a penalty for their affiliation." However, he did not explicitly name any side but seemed to allude to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

The two leading parties joined forces in elections under Kurdistani list and gained 43 seats in the Iraqi parliament. They are also united in one bloc in the Kurdistan parliament, holding 59 seats of the total 111.

Chalak criticized the authority in Kurdistan of "mistreating the party supporters" while the Gorran representatives work side by side the other Kurdish factions for the Kurdish rights.

Recently Nechirvan Barzani, the ex-Kurdistan premier and the current vice president of the KDP met with the opposition in the Kurdish parliament, including Gorran, in an attempt to calm the tensions aroused by the electoral commission bill.

The opposition with 35 deputies has always criticized the parliament for "bowing to the wishes of the prominent parties."

The Gorran lawmaker stated "the party does not trust the Kurdish authority's vows."

Gorran emerged in regional elections in 2009 as a rival to the two main ruling Kurdish parties and won 25 seats in the parliament. Gorran is challenging Talabani's PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan),
www.ekurd.netand the KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party) of regional president Massoud Barzani and accuses the parties of corruption.

Gorran movement led by the former senior PUK-leader Nawshirwan Mustafa, who was Talabani’s deputy until 2007. Since the July 2009 elections in which it secured almost a third of the seats of 111-member Parliament of Kurdistan.

The party's threat falls exactly at a time when the Kurdish support for any leading Iraqi blocs may change the dangling fate of a new government suspended for over seven months.

Barzani to confer with KBC and Kurdish leaders Sunday

The Kurdistan president, Massoud Barzani will meet Sunday with the KBC (Kurdistan Blocs Coalition)'s delegation to Baghdad as well as the leaders of the Kurdish factions to the Iraqi parliament, a Kurdish lawmaker said.

The five Kurdish factions which won as whole 57 seats in the Iraqi parliament united under the KBC. The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) together won 43 seats; the Gorran (Change) Movement obtained eight, the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) four and the Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG) two.

Sheikh Fatih Daraghayi from the KIG said the anticipated meeting is to discuss the details and conclusions of Barzani's recent meeting with the Iraqi leaders as well as the latest prospects for forming the new Iraqi government.

Recently a number of Iraqi leaders and representatives of the blocs met with the Kurdish leader and the KBC's negotiating team in Erbil. Among them were Ayad Allawi, the head of al-Iraqiya, the elections' front-runner bloc, accompanied by a delegation of leaders in his bloc, as well as both Iraqi vice presidents, Tariq Hashimi and Adel Abdul-Mahdi.

Dindar Dusky from the KIU confirmed Sunday's meeting with the president.

The news comes while the Gorran Movement threatens to withdraw from the KBC at the very moment that the KBC's support seems essential for accelerating the constitution of a seven-month delayed Iraqi government.   

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