Nawshirwan Mustafa: KRG put people‌’s lives at the mercy of government salary

From the Kurdish News Network Channel (KNNC):

Nawshirwan Mustafa

Gorran leader Nawshirwan Mustafa

Concerning the current political situation and the crises that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is facing, the General Coordinator of the Movement for Change (Gorran), Nawshirwan Mustafa, airs the Movement’s viewpoint, in an exclusive interview with the Kurdish News Network Channel (KNNC):

Part 2

People say that the delay of Parliament meetings and formation of the eighth cabinet is to devalue election and make people lose hope in peaceful exchange of power. How do you comment on that?

Nawshirwan Mustafa: there might be truth in that claim, but people do not have to lose hope in election. Election is way of political activity in order to make reform in social, political, economic, administrative, and cultural aspects of life.

The upcoming Kurdistan Provincial Elections and the Iraqi Parliamentary Elections, and previous Parliamentary Elections in the Kurdistan Region are completing each other. In other words, achieving success in the coming two elections will be a support for consolidating previous successes (Gorran replaced the PUK in the September 2013 parliamentary election with 24 of total 111 seats).

Achieving success in those elections will be a three-based pillar through which we can build other successes on. Participating actively in the coming elections will reconsolidate previous successes. Therefore, those who are passionate about peaceful exchange of power should enthusiastically participate in the elections.

What do you have to say about the current crises of the Kurdistan region?

Nawshirwan Mustafa: The current crisis of the region is because of a series of wrong policies of the successive KRG‌’s cabinets. The crises have been accumulated and left unresolved and they have become more complex and deeper.

Some of the crises are old and have remained as an inheritance since the establishment of Iraq. For example, the issue of land/border, the disputed territories where the Kurdish officials at the time of the collapse of the Baath regime and re-establishment of Iraq lost the opportunity to solve that issue. Other crises are the result of the failed administration of the successive governments by the KDP and the PUK.

If we look at the Kurdistan region these days, we would notice that the KRG face crises from all the direction:

First: at the internal level, the KRG has created a mere consumerism economy depending on the 17% of the Kurdish share of the national budget, which comes from oil. The KRG has destroyed agricultural, livestock, industry of the region in a way that the income of the KRG from those fields does not reach 6%.

The KRG had put people‌’s lives under the mercy of government salary; the government‌’s salary comes from the Central Government. The Iraqi Government, whenever they want, uses that card as an economic war against the KRG. The salary crises of the last four months, static market, unemployment, lack of cash, lost of trust in the bank system, oil crises, electricity crises, wealth insecurity crises all over Iraq, are very apparent.

Sometimes confrontations between Baghdad and the Kurdistan region, plus economic, political, media and psychological war is about to lead to military fight.

The Movement for Change (Gorran) with the aid of some other parties in two occasions have presented two projects to the KRG‌’s authorities; one was to change the KRG‌’s relation with Baghdad from personal and private into an established relation between the two sides.

The second was a roadmap to solve the problems between the KRG and Baghdad. These two projects were carelessly forgotten.

Authorities from both sides look at every reform project with an eye of doubt and they think every step towards reform means that their authority is shortened and that their time of ruling is reduced.

Second: at the national level, after the establishment of the KRG all the Kurdish nation all over Kurdistan and the world looked at it with an eye of hope. They expected that this government would be the core for a possible Kurdistan country in the future, but it seems that it will become a horrible experience of Kurdish administration.

Despite corruption with all its dimensions, despite social injustice with all its dimensions, despite un-transparency in foreign relations with all its dimensions, and instead of support for human right and the achievements of the Kurds in other parts of Kurdistan, the KRG is about to become a repulsive brother/ friend.

Third, at the international level, the KRG has intensified all its attempts to tightening its relation with Turkey especially with regard to oil sector. The KRG has darkened national questions in a way that only God knows what and how it is! Where are the benefits of oil, for whom the benefit goes, and for how long this issue will remain like this?

If the result of the upcoming elections was not respected like the results of the September 2013 general parliamentary by the authorities, if the results were not applied and ignored, will you insist on your previous remark where you said that election is the best way to reform?

Nawshirwan Mustafa: First, there is still chance that the results of the September 2013 be applied and put into action in a way or another.

Second, if election failed as a way to reform and exchange of power, and people lost trust in election, then people of the region will think to find other ways of struggle.

Interviewed By Hoshyar Adbullah

Translated from Kurdish into English by Aras Ahmed Mhamad

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