PUK & Gorran MPs can save parliament

Kamal Chomani

By Kamal Chomani:

PUK and Change Movement members of parliament can save parliament from the passiveness that has infected it and they can also cooperate to increase pressure on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to make reforms more quickly.

Last month, the exchanging of positions between the PUK’s Prime Ministry and the KDP’s presidency of parliament was enacted, as prescribed by the so-called KDP-PUK Strategic Agreement. Nechirvan Barzani, the KDP’s deputy-leader and Masoud Barzani’s nephew, became the premier. Meantime, Dr Arsalan Bayiz, the PUK’s politburo member and former deputy speaker of parliament, became the speaker of parliament.

From the very beginning of Arsalan Bayiz’s activities, he has shown his inclination to change the status of parliament. By removing Mullah Mustafa Barzani’s photo from his room, he began to move against the last years’ hegemony of the KDP over the parliament.

There have been many statements by PUK MPs in Kurdistan parliament in which they have shown their tendency to invigorate parliament and work in between the opposition bloc and the majority bloc.

There are a few reasons why PUK MPs want to work as if they are against the current situation and KRG status quo:

First, Kurdistan is getting closer to the local elections in which the PUK may participate in a separate list and not in an alliance list with the KDP. This necessitates some display by their members of parliament to attract the peoples’ sympathy because they have lost more than half of their support.

Second, we have to accept that some PUK members of parliament are completely different from the others within the Kurdistani Bloc (PUK-KDP bloc). A few PUK MPs have even worked more or less as if in opposition. We should mention here Dr Dana Sa’id Sofi who has worked as almost an opposition MP. It’s true that the hegemony of the PUK’s politburo, as compared to the KDP, is much weaker. KDP MPs cannot do anything without going back to get a green light from their leadership, whereas some PUK MPs do not care much.

Third, during the former Dr Barham Salih’s cabinet, the KDP didn’t help him in its zone. Now, it’s the PUK’s turn to make impediments for Nechirvan Barzani’s cabinet not to be successful. But the PUK is playing this game much better. The PUK wants to use its MPs to put pressure on Nechirvan and expose his corruption because the PUK has only Sulaymani which cannot make too many obstacles for him; therefore, the PUK MPs should be unsupportive to Nechirvan Barzani.

And finally, the Change Movement and PUK’s improved relations have automatically influenced the PUK MPs to show their solidarity with Gorran’s ideas in parliament. We should also not forget that the character of Dr Arsalan is different from the character of Dr Kamal Kirkuki, the former speaker of parliament – in terms of leadership, independence in making decisions and treating the opposition MPs more respectfully.

Since the PUK has got the presidency of parliament, we have observed some incidents that confirm all the aforementioned.

On April 11, 2012, Arsalan Bayiz, the speaker of parliament, visited Nawsherwan Mustafa in Sulaymani. In their one-and-half-hour talk, they discussed the issues that have made people pessimistic about parliament. They negotiated about the policy of legislature in parliament. Gorran believes that some laws have been passed without paying attention to the national agreement. Gorran believes that the laws that need a national acceptance should come back to the parliament and there must be a national compatibility. They also talked about how to activate the role of parliament, and how to monitor the government more actively.

This clearly shows that PUK wants to monitor the government as much as they can, mainly because the Premier is not PUK.

On April 23, 2012, 65 members of parliament including all the PUK, Gorran, Islamic Union and Islamic Groups’ MPs signed a letter to Masoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan region. In this letter, for the first time PUK MPs joined the criticisms that have faced Barzani from the opposition bloc for the last two years. They clearly asked Barzani not to do whatever he wants, as he has done so far, and they said parliament should become the source of national decisions and agreements.

Only a week afterwards, on April 29, Goran Azad, a PUK MP, on his Facebook account asked Masoud Barzani why they had not got any response. Goran Azad wrote: “After a week passing since our letter, I understood that there are no institutionalized relations between the Parliament and the presidency of Kurdistan region; therefore I was obliged to send you some questions via Facebook.”

He raised some critical questions. Such questions have previously only been raised by the independent media and very critical journalists.

There are many other incidents that are worthy to be mentioned and yet we do expect more.

I do believe that if the PUK cooperates with Gorran and the two other opposition parties, we will have an active parliament by the end of this term. Until now, almost all opposition bloc projects and bills have been dissolved simply because they have not had a majority.

Copyright © 2012 Kurdistantribune.com

2 Responses to PUK & Gorran MPs can save parliament
  1. Baqi Barzani
    May 12, 2012 | 21:24

    S. Kurdistan will not make inroads in any field if there is not an all-party consensus. Every political party is capable of both stabilizing and destabilizing the region.

    Ostracizing any group will culminate in further disarray and deepening dichotomies.

    Best solution: Inclusion and all-encompassing participation, including KDP.

  2. Azad Ezzat
    May 14, 2012 | 11:48

    The only people who can save Kurdistan are the Kurds themselves. Get to the streets and drive those corrupted officials out.

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL https://kurdistantribune.com/puk-gorran-mps-can-save-parliament/trackback/