Barzani’s latest move to dictatorship

By Mufid Abdulla:

Barzani has revealed his plan to stay in power without an election

Barzani has revealed his plan to stay in power without an election

For the last few months the dispute over the expiration of Masud Barzani’s presidential term has put the Kurdistan region though a major political crisis with much wrestling between the three main parties: between the ruling Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Gorran on one side, and the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the PUK on the other.

The hidden game-plan of the KDP was to deceive the people and it has secretly bribed key PUK politburo members so that Barzani can extend his presidency, without an election, for another two year until 2015. In fact they hope this means he can stay in power for several more years – for as long as his health permits.

Erbil has become the capital of Kurdistan and today Erbil is a symbol, not of democracy, but of surrender by the Kurdistan parliament to the forces of dictatorship.

I wasn’t surprised by the news on Sunday that there were fights between MPs in parliament when the ruling parties suddenly introduced their law to extend Barzani’s presidency. Their action blatantly breached the rules of parliament which state that 48 hours’ notice must be given before discussion takes place on new legislation.

What happened on Sunday it is not just about Barzani. It is also about the culture of dictatorship that is on the rise in the south of Kurdistan.

Barzani represents a new breed of dictatorship in Kurdistan, based on one family. On 17 February 2011 Barzani and the KDP wanted to completely crush the peaceful demonstration in Suli. They were held back by Talabani who did not want to go too far – and who knows otherwise what weapons they might have used against the people.

I would like to ask political observers why they should be surprised by Barzani’s latest act. He is exploiting the desire for peace among the people of Kurdistan because aggression and thirst for power is in his blood.

Masud Barzani is a person who never had the qualities to be a president of Kurdistan. He has not been able to rise above being head of his clan, militia group and political party. He lacks the charisma to be a leader of all the people.

It is no surprise that Barzani is conveniently out of the country while this is happening so that he can pretend he is somehow not involved. But no one is fooled.

The Barzani culture of treason was very clear when his two brothers, Aubaidulla and Lugman, sided with Saddam in 1974, though in the end Saddam executed both of them. Masud Barzani’s act on Sunday is reminiscent of 31 August 1996 when he called on Saddam to help rescue his forces in Erbil from PUK forces.

I applaud the calm and decent reaction of the opposition parties. They could otherwise have brought millions of their followers onto the streets of Kurdistan like in Egypt, Brazil or Syria but they don’t want to immediately do this, because they know Barzani and his supporters are dictators who don’t care if they execute entire demonstrations for their own purposes.

We don’t want a civil war: we have already been through the 1990s decade of civil war at the hands of the ruling parties. We don’t want turmoil that could play into the hands of Kurdistan’s enemies and put at risk everything that has been achieved.

However, because of Barzani’s latest move to a dictatorship, the situation is now like a tinder box and anything could spark mass demonstrations like we are seeing in Egypt – but such protests should be peaceful.

People know who the criminals of the civil war are. These people are executing democracy and hijacking the privileges of parliament .What Barzani did with his followers is like a coup d’etat. But it is not entirely Barzani’s responsibility. The PUK is now the KDP’s proxy and, like any KDP politician, the PUK leaders want to preserve their wealth and keep reaping the benefits of oil. The PUK politburo is acting decisively against the wishes of the PUK grassroots.

When the Gorran movement had their successful, well-attended conference last month, the KDP concluded that they cannot win the argument through the ballot box and, for that reason, they decided to strike a deal with the PUK and delay the Kurdistan parliament elections yet again.

The south of Kurdistan has suffered more than two decade of domination by the two ruling parties. This latest action has derailed any hope of general reconciliation between the political parties. Sunday’s events have once more shaken the confidence of investors in the markets of Kurdistan. The rising power of dictatorship could hinder progress in the building of our infrastructure.

Barzani is a dictator running a secret state with secret police and he is secretly stealing the bulk of the oil wealth which belongs to the people.

For me Sunday was the beginning of the first chapter of his end.  It accords with Barzani’s history of treason and of deceiving our nation. Any mass demonstration and uprising needs to start from Erbil: that is the only way to hit at the heart of the dictatorship that Barzani has been building for the last two decades.

Copyright © 2013

16 Responses to Barzani’s latest move to dictatorship
  1. Lorenzo Garcia
    July 2, 2013 | 11:54

    Possibly this conspiration theory is true or….. not.

    What if those PUK politicians are not brived but followed their conscience for the best of Kurdistan?

    Can we accept that other people have different values and views than ours?

    Or.. is it the obvious that who is not with me, is against me and my enemy?

    Well, pathetic comment from my point of view. Please try to write a fiction book or novel regarding Kurdistan.

    • havel
      July 2, 2013 | 14:12

      If the PUK was really acting in the national interest why did it agree to rush through this measure (this constitutional coup) in such a secretive and undemocratic way? No matter what they say, it’s a pretty obvious case of political gangsters clubbing together to protect their stolen billions.

  2. Suleiyman
    July 2, 2013 | 17:35

    Are you supporting their decision? Can you share your thought since you are being vague.

  3. Ari Ali
    July 2, 2013 | 20:34

    Well one is very sorry the idiots in kurdish congress to have rubber stamped and passed this absolute lunacy .

    Not much a problem Barzani is in for 2 years more , but the concept that no other kurdish person can do the top job except Masoud , his son Masror and possibly his nephew Nichervan is condemnable by all civilised measure . Unfortunately , we are still nomads !

  4. Lorenzo Garcia
    July 3, 2013 | 12:04

    Politics and more politics. I believe that when PUK politicians at the kurdish parliament voted the way they did, nobody forced them to vote the way they wanted to vote.

    If you follow the US congress or german Reichstag you will find the same comments and opinions of stupid politicians who vote not according to an absolute majority but they become a majority.

    This is democracy with all the pains involved. We can find democracy as a tyranny of minorities. The least I can say of the Talibanis, Barzani and Mustaphas is that they all are nationalists and this is enough for me.
    Time will put justice in its place

    • Ari Ali
      July 3, 2013 | 16:30

      Lorenzo , this is not politics . The are rules for politics , the current incumbent president of the province HAS NO LEGAL right to STAND for election another term . By virtue of his total control of oil wealth backed by illegal party militia , he has forced others to renew his term for two more years
      Is there no one else could do the job among 5 million people ! The money has blinded the PUK !

  5. Lorenzo Garcia
    July 3, 2013 | 13:40

    One more remark about the defficiencies of democracy. Austrian Adolf Hitler was democratically elected Führer in Germany and look what occurences the german democracy came into.
    In times of peace, democracy is a better solution. In times of crisis, other alternatives prevail.
    So, in what kind of times is Kurdistan now? Crisis or full peace?
    What kind of PM choose England at the beginning of the war?
    Of course, everybody learns that history repeats itself and when autocrats come to power with democratic means, there is a risk that the same autocrats become dictators.
    This was the case of Germany with AH but it was not replicated in England with WC.
    Both were autocrats at the beginning as Barzani tends to be and both leaders had the popular support of their people.
    The fight against nepotism, autocracy and later dictators starts with debates, arguments on all aspects of the society.
    It worked in Polen with Solidarity movement, it work in Serbia, it worked in South Africa, in India, in Ucraine

    • Ari Ali
      July 3, 2013 | 16:34

      there is colossal difference between Adolf Hitler and a mere tribeman like Masoud . If you can not see this , there is a big problem with you .

  6. Suleiyman
    July 3, 2013 | 14:57

    Again I am convinced you have certain agendas you are sticking to. Otherwise no normal human being democracy loving can accept what the parliament did, which you said is fine with you.

  7. Lorenzo Garcia
    July 4, 2013 | 08:23

    My agenda is that I have invested all my wealth in Kurdistan. The road towards democracy european style is full of bumps on the road.
    The kurdish voters needs more education and will of self determination not needing tribal legacies.
    In other Words, there are no free lunches for kurdish democracy. To catch up a democracy level which it took at least 50 years for eurpeans in just 5 years is wishfull thinking.
    But impressive what you guys are achieving with the available means.
    I hope that more and more kurdish Citizens start to think in terms of what they can do for kurdish democracy and not so much on what kurdish democracy can do for them

  8. Suleiyman
    July 4, 2013 | 18:02

    You invested your wealth in Kurdistan so you are willing to support injustice and dictatorship and status quo so your businesses don’t suffer, because if you didn’t have official support from the govt robbers to start with you would never be able to open a business there.

  9. Lorenzo Garcia
    July 5, 2013 | 06:37

    How old are you? Or just no IQ? Your never ending complainings has very little proactive proposals to improve.
    Are you afraid of being accused for making mistakes o you just do nothing?
    It was a long time since the mountains were the only friends of the kurds.
    I am in the oil business

  10. Suleiyman
    July 5, 2013 | 09:56

    Bring in the oil business makes it OK to undeine justice? Your indirect attacks on anyone who criticizes the unjust acts of KDP and PUK simply makes you one selfish person whose personal gain is obvious from every word you write. Now that I have figured out your true agenda, your words are no longer a surprise, and no further response to you is needed. Peace and enjoy the temporary gains you have at the expense of poor Kurdish children and regular citizens.

  11. Lorenzo Garcia
    July 6, 2013 | 09:10


    This is the last remark about my person. Where you in Sweden when I supported kurdish rebels against Saddam? When my family supported el-Anfal victims just because they were human beings and nothing else? Are you debating in all international media for the kurds? Are you doing anything for the population of Syria no matter if kurds or not?
    Are you against all oil Investors in Kurdistan since you are taking/stealing Money from the government? Who gives you the right to insult a democrat for generations, making you an expert in a democracy that you never lived in? Are you doing anything for Kurdistan? What you do in Kurdistan, how is it described by other people? In my view you are a Gorran fanatic who possibly s politically blind

  12. Suleiyman
    July 6, 2013 | 19:11

    I am not from Gorran but I will support anything good they do for our people. If I am not doing anything for the Kurds, at least I am not putting my hands in the hands of people who are stealing oil money that belongs to the poor Kurds. You may have gone to demonstrations for Kurds against Saddam and I am glad it finally paid off for you in terms of investments in Kurdistan, which you are willing to protect even at the expense of supporting justice. Just do us a favor and state your financial interests in Kurdistan before you go in acting like you are a saint sent to help the Kurds. If your oil money is taken away by the gang you are supporting now, you will be very quick to attack them in the name of democracy. Keep checking on Kurdistan news and matters because you need to watch the stocks of your investments and not necessarily because you care about the cries of the little Kurdish children who have nothing to eat now while you and your companies are walking away with millions. There will always be parasites after any natural resource in the world. You heard me right. And feel free to attack Gorran!

  13. […] And while Kurdistan, like Israel, apes the forms of democracy, the reality is essentially authoritarian – with an extra dollop of thuggishness throw in for good […]

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