Posted on October 13, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Politics
Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament Speaker Yusuf Mohammed Sadiq. Photo: Perleman
SULAIMANI, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament Speaker, Yusuf Mohammed Sadiq on Wednesday called a move to deactivate parliament the “unilateral decision of a political party” against the democratic legitimacy of parliament.
In a speech commemorating the recess of parliament on October 12, Sadiq said, “Parliament was vigorously targeted… deactivating parliament is an incident which needs to be considered a crime in the history of Kurdistan.”
Sadiq vowed to take functional steps to reactivate parliament after holding meetings with the head of parliamentary blocs in the near future.
The Speaker of Parliament described October 12 as an “untoward day” in which a number of cabinet minister were also sacked in the absence of parliament’s will.
The crisis erupted after KDP leader Massoud Barzani, whose term as Kurdistan President endedon August 20, 2015 but refused to step down and remains unofficially in office. According to the law in Kurdistan, Barzani cannot run for presidency anymore.
“On October 12, a number of ministers were also dismissed by a party decision and without the will of parliament in a coup d’état move,” he said.
Kurdistan PM Nechirvan Barzani on October 12, 2015 has removed four members of his cabinet from the Gorran Movement and Kurdistan Parliament speaker was prevented from entering Erbil city by Kurdish forces of Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). Since then Kurdistan parliament parliament has been in recess.
Sadiq also said, “The incident dragged the Kurdistan Region backward, to the early status quo.”
The move came after demonstrations turned violent in parts of the Kurdistan Region, where several KDP offices were set on fire by angry protesters.
The KDP accused Gorran of orchestrating the attacks and has called for Speaker Mohammed’s removal from office. Gorran has denied allegations of inciting violence.
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.
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.
KDP says Yusuf Mohammed Sadiq, Gorran bloc undermined dignity of parliament
Marking the first anniversary of the recess of the Kurdistan Parliament, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) bloc released an announcement on Wednesday which said it considers the Change Movement (Gorran) and Speaker of Parliament Yusuf Mohammed Sadiq responsible for the deactivation of parliament.
“Yusuf Mohammed Sadiq and the Gorran bloc must confess that they undermined parliament’s dignity impulsively,” the announcement from the KDP bloc said.
The KDP bloc accused Sadiq of being “biased,” claiming he was unable to represent all parties equally.
“Those who display crocodile tears for parliament need to blame themselves for the kind of political thought they have and the coup d’état which dragged the Kurdistan Region’s political process into the current situation,” the announcement said.
In its announcement, the KDP bloc urged for new leadership to be elected for the Kurdistan Parliament to end the legislature’s recess.
Kurdish parties release statements urging end to political impasse
Three Kurdish blocs in the Kurdistan Parliament released separate statements on Wednesday condemning the lack of progress made over the last year as the assembly marks one year since its deactivation.
The Change Movement (Gorran) called the situation a “coup” in the Kurdistan Region as party member and Parliament Speaker has been blocked from returning to his post in the capital city, Erbil, since October 2015.
“October 12 of last year has become another dark day in the history of governance after law and democracy were distorted,” the Gorran statement said. “The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) blocked the parliament speaker and sacked ministers in a unilateral decision.”
Meanwhile, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) called on the region’s major political parties to return to negotiations and hold “real talks” on the various crises afflicting the region, including on-going protests by civil servants who are demanding wages be paid on time and in full.
“There is no clear hope for solutions to the issues one year after that bitter day,” the PUK statement said, referring to the day Mohammed was prevented from entering Erbil.
“Arriving at this stage marks a return to square one of our launching a government and it also darkens the experience of democratic governance which was an honor for all of us,” it continued.
Similarly, the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) bloc said the parliament’s deactivation was no worse than incidents during the 1990s civil war between the KDP and PUK.
“Today, one year has passed since the deactivation of parliament, which will be considered a bitter and unforgettable incident in the history of our nation,” the KIU bloc said.