Hopes for an effective new KRG cabinet fast fading

Kurdistan parliament

Voters elected new parliament but still await a new government

By Mufid Abdulla:

One month on from the September 21st Kurdistan Regional parliamentary elections, voters are still awaiting the formation of a new government. Unfortunately the political parties are not doing enough to meet their expectations. There is still no sign of how the new government will be formed. Gorran – now the second biggest party in parliament – says it will not participate in government for the sake of it. But Gorran should prioritise doing whatever is necessary to try and fulfil the aspirations of its supporters. We are seeing some opposition politicians take unrealistic stances, which only make it seem like they put party interests ahead of the peoples’ interests.

At the same time, the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) is helping to exacerbate the problem. Former prime minister Nechirvan Barzani has mocked the opposition, in an interview with Alsharq Ausad, saying it achieved nothing in parliament in four years except to throw bottles of water (referring to one isolated incident). Mr Barzani should take stock of the election results and be more temperate and open to proper negotiation. He should recognise that the opposition parties, and particularly Gorran, have changed the political map and created a ‘cultural revolution’ in the region. He should also recognise that the opposition is understandably suspicious of the KDP, and its strategic partner the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), because of the ill-treatment they have experienced.

The reality is that the KDP and PUK were unprepared for the September 21st results. They did not believe that Gorran could decisively beat the PUK and become (if not number one, as it might have been in more strictly fair elections) the number two party. So now we have political deadlock. But it will be the people of the south of Kurdistan, not the politicians, who suffer if it is not ended soon. No matter their past histories and ideological differences, the KDP and Gorran should sit down and talk properly.

Gorran should seek to join the government and try to achieve what it has campaigned for: for example, fairer income distribution, an end to oil secrecy, abolition of private militias and pensions for the elderly. Instead of appearing hesitant, it should act more decisively, while remaining true to the electorate and spurning any secret deals with the KDP.

Nechirvan Barzani should give high priority to fulfiling his election campaign promise to give every citizen a share in the profits of oil. To make this a reality, he should negotiate reasonably with Gorran, with a view to forming a new government soon.

If the KDP and Gorran fail to do enough to fulfil their promises, they could end up experiencing the same electoral fate as the PUK.

Copyright © 2013 Kurdistantribune.com

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