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 Two ruling Kurdish Parties charge Gorran's statement exploitation to move masses

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Two ruling Kurdish Parties charge Gorran's statement exploitation to move masses  19.2.2011  

February 19, 2011

ERBIL/SULAIMANIYAH, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — Two leaders of the two main Kurdish Parties in north Iraq's Kurdistan Region, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) led by Massoud Barzani, the current president of Kurdistan, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) led by Iraqi president Jalal Talabani on Saturday have charged that the statement issued by the opposition Gorran (Change) Movement, that demanded the cancellation of the Region's government and parliament, with having been exploited to move the masses.

"The events that took place in Kurdistan Region in the background of the statement, issued by the Gorran Movement, had been exploited by a group of small blocs, he did not name," the PUK Leader, Saadi Pira told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, adding that the demonstrations that took place over the past 24 hours "had been hostile, but I don't think that the conditions would go to worst," calling on the government to investigate the reasons for those developments.                   

Saadi Ahmed Pira, member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Political Bureau. Photo:

Thousands of demonstrators have gone to the streets in Sulaimaniyah city on Thursday, demanding the improvement of services and living standard, fighting corruption and carrying out political reforms, causing about 7 people killed and 47 others injured due to the shooting that took place in front of the KDP's headquarters in the city, where the demonstrators gathered.

After that, Sulaimaniyah Governor, Dana Ahmed Mahid, had imposed a curfew on the city from 07:00 pm till 07:00 am, whilst three headquarters of the  Gorran (Change) Movement were attacked and burnt in Erbil, Duhok and Soran cities, causing no casualties.

On his part, the Kurdistan Parliament Member from the KDP, Abdul-Salam Barwary, said: "What has happened had been regretful, as we are still knew in practicing democracy in all its forms, and what took place in Erbil is condemned by both the KDP and PUK," adding that "what had happened in Sulaimaniyah had been a previously-designed and planned issue."

"There had been a campaign since more than two weeks to force legitimacy out of the constitutional and political institutions (in Kurdistan)," Barwary said, considering "the complains and demands of the masses are legitimate, though the situation had been exploited passively, as it's easy to move the masses, but it's difficult to stop them."

He said that "every party that doesn't like the current stability and development in the Region stands behind those events, and there is a certain "party" trying to plant differences between the KDP and other parties,
www.ekurd.netbut all political parties in the Region have issued official statements condemning those events," calling on the masses to "take a lesson from those events, as the citizens' demands are legitimate, though attacking the headquarters of the parties would not solve the problems."

The rare demonstrations in the autonomous Kurdistan region were the deadliest since the 2003 US-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.

The Kurdish protesters chanted, "Government resign", "Work for the unemployed" and "The corrupt must face justice".

For decades, the KDP of regional president Massoud Barzani and the PUK of Iraq's President Jalal Talabani have lorded over the region.

Massoud Barzani, the KDP chief and current Kurdistan president, and his relatives control a large number of commercial enterprises in Kurdistan-Iraq, with a gross value of several billion US dollars. The family is routinely accused of corruption and nepotism by Kurdish media as well as international observers.

Gorran enjoys wide support in Kurdistan region. It's 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 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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