Opposition steps up pressure on the two ruling parties‏

News and Comment by The Kurdistan Tribune:

Following their summit on 31st December, the leaders of the three opposition parties – Gorran, the KIU and the Islamic League – have refused to meet with the two ruling parties until the reform package which they have submitted has been implemented.

The PUK leadership has attempted to make peace with the Gorran leader through their mediators – recently that resulted in two telephone calls between PUK leader Jalal Talabani and Gorran leader Nawshirwan Mustafa.

According to sources close to Nawshirwan Mustafa, these calls covered the current situation in Iraq and in Kurdistan following the defection of Hashimi to KRG  territory.

Meanwhile the KDP leadership and the President of Kurdistan, Masud Barzani, have called for a summit meeting between the five main parties in the south of Kurdistan.

The two ruling parties are pressing for a meeting with the Opposition for a number of reasons. One is that they want to be seen to be ‘putting the nation first’ in the climate of uncertainty following the US troops withdrawal from Iraq. Another is that Talabani and Barzani fear that the Iraqi prime minister Maliki will make an offer to Nawshirwan following their decision to give shelter to Hashimi.

Ali Bapeer, leader of the Islamic League, believes that participating in a meeting with the two ruling parties would be best for the unity of the Kurdish struggle at this stage, but his grassroots have urged him not to do so.

The Opposition has resolved that meeting with the PUK and KDP would be a waste of time until these parties demonstrate a will to begin real reforms. But observers have also concluded that the mounting pressure on the two ruling parties is having some effect.


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