By Mufid Abdulla:
The unlawful Kurdish president came back to Erbil and straightaway yesterday had a meeting with the leadership of the two ruling parties.
Beforehand, various KDP figures anonymously told the media that Barzani was not involved in Sunday’s irregular decision by KDP and PUK MPs in parliament to extend his expired presidency by two years. They claimed that Barzani is not a dictator and he will not accept this ‘offer’ but will insist on holding a presidential election. However, the meeting concluded without any joint statement.
People outside the KDP and PUK see this whole development as a failure for both parties. They have failed to practise democracy, they still see the need to maintain thousands of militia and they have failed to win the peoples’ trust. The question is: For how long can Barzani and his henchmen pursue this type of politics without resorting to real violence? There could come a stage when they face the resistance of people, not something imported from outside but rather a movement embedded in the local political environment to sweep the south of Kurdistan clean of political corruption.
Last March 2012 Barzani told a group of students – most of whom he wanted to recruit to spy on their fellow students – that “you will get some good news soon”. Local and international commentators concluded that Barzani wanted to declare independence for the Kurdistan region.
Immediately opposition leaders told him: You cannot build a nation state because you don’t have the conditions for it and you are not the kind of charismatic leader needed to fulfill this duty and the hopes and dreams of millions of Kurds.
Surely Barzani wanted an independent Kurdish state to fulfil his own ambition, in which case it would be a failed state like southern Sudan etc. Barzani is a man obsessed with power, posts and privileges for himself and his family. Otherwise, if he really wanted to achieve an independent state he would live with his nation, not in the countryside resorts of Sari Rash and Salahadin.
Barzani has shown his lack of respect for his people and his nation through his party’s recent action in parliament. He knows that he has taken a huge risk. He and his party are very reluctant to hold any election because they know they cannot get enough popular support. For the last 12 years the local council elections have been postponed. The date for this year’s general election has been changed over and over again, and many political observers believe there won’t be one. Once more the KDP is working against the will of the people, as they did on 31 August 1996 or with the murder of Sardasht Osman in May 2011.
Barzani’s past talk of Kurdish statehood was nothing but bluff. The man would need to win the trust of the people before they could sponsor him to lead us on the road to self-determination.