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 Kurdistan opposition parties boycott Barzani's meeting about Duhok unrest

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Kurdistan opposition parties boycott Barzani's meeting about Duhok unrest ‎ 6.12.2011 

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December 6, 2011

ERBIL-Hewlr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', Oppositions parties in Kurdistan have boycotted a meeting of political parties called by Kurdistan region president of Kurdistan Region Massoud Barzani following arson in Duhok province.

Gorran, Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG) and Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) have said they will not participate in Barzani's meeting, which started shortly ago, until recent attacks in Duhok province on the opposition group KIU has been investigated independently.

About six of KIU's offices in Duhok province were torched on Saturday. The attacks came after KIU was accused by pro-authorities fans of encouraging a group of people who set fire on Friday to a number of liquor stores and massage parlous on religious grounds. The - KIU rejects such claims.        

Nawshirwan Mustapha (C) the leader of Change (Gorran) which is the strongest opposition movement in Iraqi Kurdistan with 25 seats in the 111-member parliament. Photo: Hawlati
Barzani visited Zakho, where the arson started, on Saturday urging all parties to keep order and ordered an investigation into the incidents.

Hiwa Mirza Sabir, a member of the KIU's leadership board told AKnews that "The KIU will by no means take part in the President's meeting"

The opposition groups have announced they will not take part in this meeting before the facts are shown to he public, Sabir said.

Shaho Saeed, a spokesman for the Gorran movement said the motives for their boycott of the meeting today were to show sympathy for the KIU "for the oppression they were subjected to" referring to the torching of the Islamic party's offices in Duhok on Saturday for which the KIU accused the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) led by Barzani.

Another reason for the boycott is that the opposition forces do not believe in "meeting for meeting's sake" says Saeed. "the opposition forces believe in practical steps and believe that the crises in Kurdistan Region can not be solved through meetings... but practical steps,"

The Gorran spokesperson accused the ruling parties, the KDp and its ally the Patriotic Union of Kuridstan (PUK) led by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, of not truely attempting to find solutions to the disputes.

"We were expecting practical steps for the normalization of the situations in Kurdistan and the implementation of the court decisions and the president's. But not only those decision we not implemented and those responsible for the 17 February [violence] were not held to account... but now comes Badinan (Duhok province] attacks"

Saeed was referring to protests in February that swept across Sulaimaniyah province where thousands of demonstrators called for political reforms, improved living conditions and an end to corruption. The protests turned violent and some 10 people were killed in the clashes between security forces and protesters.

By Rebin Hasan

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