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 Nawshirwan Mustafa: Iraqi Kurdistan parliament is “paralyzed” institution

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Nawshirwan Mustafa: Iraqi Kurdistan parliament is “paralyzed” institution  14.2.2011  

February 14, 2011

SULAIMANIYAH, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', —  Nawshirwan Mustafa, the president of the major opposition party in the Kurdistan Region, Gorran (Change) Movement, described the current Kurdish parliament a “paralyzed” body, reiterating the call for its replacement, along with government resignation. In response, a Kurdish lawmaker accused Mustafa of “political libel”.

In an interview in a program, dubbed Rubaru (Face to Face) produced and aired by Gorran mouthpiece, Kurdistan News Network (KNN) TV channel, Mustafa pointed the blame finger at the current Kurdish parliament, describing it as “hollow paralyzed” institution.

Meanwhile the opposition leader called on the Kurdistan public to “follow the examples of the recent Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings”, and stage their own.

The public revolts in Tunisia and Egypt succeeded in ousting the autocratic presidents of the country. In a statement announced Jan.29, the party called for re-staging the legislative body voting and the resignation of Kurdistan regional government KRG.

Nawshirwan Mustafa, head of the Gorran, Sulaimaniyah, Kurdistan region of Iraq. March, 28, 2010 Photo: AP
The call was countered by a swift campaign of protest statement issuance and demonstrations, mainly by the supporters of the major parties.

Gorran demands an active parliament to monitor the government and officials’ conduct, not a “paralyzed one submissive to all the illegal imports of the government,” Mustafa told the channel.

The leader advised the two major Kurdish parties in Kurdistan “to take lesson” from the recent Arab world uprisings and “comprehend that the era for monopolizing power is over.”

Gorran has several times accused the majority entity in parliament, the Kurdistani bloc, of “unconditional obedience to the wishes of the major parties the entity represents.”

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), led by Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), led by the Iraqi President Jalal Talabani are the two domineering parties in Kurdistan. The two are allied under Kurdistani bloc,
www.ekurd.netwith 59 seats out of 111. The opposition contains Gorran with 25 seats along with 10 more from two Islamic parties. This is the first time the Kurdish parliament enjoys an opposition force.

In response to Mustafa’s depiction of the Kurdish legislative body, Salar Mahmoud, from the Kurdistani refuted the image.

“In-depth discussions, the meetings of the committees, the attendance of the lawmakers in the sessions and summoning the ministers to parliament all bear out the active conduct of parliament, Mahmoud believed.

The lawmaker who is also the chairman for the human rights committee told AK news “Kurdistan public, the political observers as well as the legal experts all testify the active role the current parliament plays.”

Mahmoud accused Mustafa of “political libel” for labeling parliament as a hollow and paralyzed institution, stressing “parliament is the supreme authority of legislation and policy in Kurdistan, combining the diverse cultures and voices through a democratic process.”

The Kurdish officials defend their ground saying the parliament was elected through a public voting July 25, 2009, dismissing any sort of resemblance between the Tunisian and Egyptian authorities and the Kurdish one, promoted to power “democratically”.

Gorran enjoys wide support in Kurdistan region. It was 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 and the KDP of regional president Massoud Barzani and accuses the parties of corruption. It’s headed 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.

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