Posted on July 31, 2016 by Editorial Staff in 1 Top News, Politics
Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament Speaker Yusuf Muhammad Sadiq at the 2016 Sulaimani Forum, Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Mar. 16, 2016. Photo: NRT
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan region ‘Iraq’,— Speaker of Iraqi Kurdistan Region Parliament Yusuf Mohammed Sadiq, announced on Saturday that he is ready to leave his post if the move will deescalate political tensions and usher in a stable, democratic governing system.
“I do not view my post as important and I sacrifice it for the people of Kurdistan,” said Sadiq, speaking on the sidelines of the Sulaimani Forum for Municipalities. “Let us all sacrifice our posts for the interest of the people.”
Sadiq, who is from the Change Movement (Gorran), believes that the existing crisis in Kurdistan is much wider than the political gridlock that has paralyzed the country for the past year and it cannot be solved by “activating parliament, returning the parliament speaker, reshuffling parliamentary posts and the return of ministers to their positions.”
“We see the daily circumstances of the people. People do not get their salaries. We do not have a stable governing system. All the authorities have been sabotaged and our democratic system is also sabotaged,” Mohammed told Rudaw.
The crisis erupted after Massoud Barzani, whose term as Kurdistan President ended on August 20, 2015 but refused to step down and remains unofficially in office. According to the law, Barzani cannot run for presidency anymore. Sadiq said last year “extending Barzani term is against the laws.”
Massoud Barzani has led Kurdistan region as president from 2005 for two executive terms and his last term was extended in 2013 by ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) for two more years on the condition that he can no longer run as president.
That main political parties have failed to reach an agreement on the Kurdistan presidency as KDP insists that Massoud Barzani should remain president of the region.
Thousands of people demonstrated in October 2015 against Barzani, KRG and KDP in Sulaimani city and several other Kurdish towns, demanding payment of their salaries from KRG and that KDP leader Massoud Barzani to step down. Several local KDP headquarter buildings were set on fire by the protesters.
The KDP blames Gorran for inciting demonstrators to attack KDP offices in Sulaimani and Halabja provinces in September 2015. But Gorran strongly denied the accusations.
The Gorran Movement accused the KDP of a monopoly all government’s positions in Erbil, and it does not believe in the principles of true partnership and and peaceful transfer of power.
Kurdistan Parliament’s Speaker was prevented from entering Erbil city in October 2015 and since then the Kurdish parliament has been suspended. Kurdistan PM Nechirvan Barzani has removedfour members of his cabinet from the Gorran Movement and replaced them with KDP politicians.
Barzani has been accused by critics of amassing huge wealth for his family instead of serving the population. Barzani’s son is the Kurdistan region’s intelligence chief and his nephew Nechirvan Barzani is the prime minister.
In a bid to end the political stalemate, Masoud Barzani has taken initiative to lay the groundwork for meetings between Kurdish parties by sending Fuad Hussein, chief of staff of the Kurdistan Presidency, to visit the parties’ leaders.
The parliamentary speaker believes that “such kinds of meetings will not improve the conditions of people if there is no realistic will to carry out reforms in Kurdistan.”
Sarbast Lazgin, a member of the KDP leadership, told Rudaw that “the KDP has insisted on the dismantling of the previous agreement through which Gorran obtained the post of parliamentary speaker.”
He also said that his party is ready to turn a new page and “sign a new agreement because Sadiq and his party ended the coalition and they were the reason for our agreement’s dismantlement.”
“The KDP is ready to activate the parliament and government through a new agreement and that needs discussions and fresh agreements.”
In earlier comments to Rudaw, Ghazi Saaid, a politburo member of the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), said both the ruling and opposition parties “had reconciliatory tones” and were ready to meet each other half way.
“Gorran leader Nawshirwan Mustafa has said that he will agree to replacing Yusuf Muhammad Sadiq and [will support] the referendum and other KDP demands, but what will Barzani do in return?” Saaid asked.
Massoud Barzani said I will not leave power until Kurdistan get statehood. He told al-monitor in March 2016 “The day we have an independent Kurdistan, I will cease to be the president of that Kurdistan”.
Analysts and Kurdish politicians accuse KDP party of using the self-determination issue as means to stay in power and monopoly it.