Iraq's Kurdistan heads towards a
By Kamal Chomani -
The Kurdistan Tribune
Kurdistan region President Barzani Inaugurates the
Security Council of the Kurdistan Region 8, July,
2012. Photo: KRP
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July 10, 2012
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) National
Security Council was the last nail in the coffin of
Kurdistan’s democracy and claims of reform.
Alas, what the hell is going on in Kurdistan
The danger of any totalitarian regimes is that they
shape rules and state institutions to legalize their
undemocratic plans and ambitions. Surprisingly, the
two ruling parties, Kurdistan Democratic Party and
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, are doing what the
former – overthrown – totalitarian regimes
previously did in the Middle East.
From now on, the life of any critical journalist and
activist and any serious opponent of the two ruling
families of Kurdistan is in peril – although it was
in danger before, now it has become more so.
The newly-formed National Security Council is the
real threat to Kurdistan’s people and its democracy.
Why is it a real threat?
When the law for forming the National Security
Council was discussed in Parliament, the opposition
parties had boycotted the sessions. The view about
this law came from one side only,www.ekurd.net
the majority bloc. This was during the period of
Kurdistan’s rage and protests in which a dozen were
killed and hundreds injured. When the MPs were
discussing this law, they were so much under the
pressure of their politburos to lead Kurdistan
towards a total state police because the two ruling
parties were afraid of losing their power.
At the same time, the parliament had issued 17
points in which one point hinted that the parliament
will not pass any laws if they need a national
agreement amongst the political parties and public.
However, according to the law, Parliament cannot
question the National Security Council!
KDP and PUK security forces have just united to
blind the public’s eye and to tell their Kurdish
people they are united. But a KDP Asayish still
cannot transfer his job to an Asayish office in the
With regard to inaugurating a chancellor to the
National Security Council, it is in the President of
the Kurdistan Region’s authority to do this. This
means the National Security Council is above being
questioned by the parliament.
If Parliament cannot question the National Security
Council, what can people expect from it?
For this institution, 318 billions of Iraqi Dinars
have been allocated from the 2012 public budget,
whereas only 450 billions of Iraqi Dinars have been
allocated for projects!
The opposition parties and journalists have shown
their anger towards the newly-formed National
Adnan Othman, Gorran (Change Movement) MP declared:
“Kurdistan is leading to a totalitarian system.”
Dr Shaho Sa’id, Gorran’s spokesperson, announced
that: “Forming this National Security Council
prepares the ground to a totalitarian police state
regime that interferes in all fields of society and
Bilal Sleman, Islamic Group MP, explained that:
“This National Security Council is just to protect
the KDP and PUK.”
He also criticized the law in which the parliament
“can only decide on its budget and cannot question
it.” To him, this is “doubtful because its power is
bigger than any ministry’s.”
Samir Saleem, Islamic Union MP, has the same
feelings as Bilal Sleman. He said that the National
Security Council is just to “keep the two cantons of
KDP and PUK zones.”
He elaborates that the National Security Council has
been created under the light of the so-called
Strategic Agreement between the KDP and PUK in which
they have already decided on dividing the powers and
income of Kurdistan.
Ahmed Mira, Lvin Magazine’s editor-in-chief, the
main political magazine in Iraqi Kurdistan, said
that: “The newly elected chancellor, Masrour Barzani
should be trialed not to be given a sort of
To Mira, the granting of such powers to Masrour
Barzani by his father, Massoud Barzani, is not much
different to what Saddam Hussein gave to his sons
and Ghadafi to his sons, too.
Many people were very hopeful about the exchange of
the premiership from Dr Barham Salih to Nechirvan
Barzani, – hoping that Barzani might implement some
reforms – but, as Kurds say, “Year by year, I wish
to the yesteryear.”
I do believe that, with the formation this National
Security Council, the death of reform was announced.
No more reform, but a radical change. Only a radical
change can save Kurdistan!
Kamal Chomani is a Kurdish journalist based in
Iraqi Kurdistan. He writes for Awene, south
Kurdistan's major independent newspaper, sits on the
editorial board of Lvin magazine, a leading
trimonthly, and works with Reporters Without
Borders. You can reach the author via emails:
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