South of Kurdistan Needs Strong Parliamentary System, Not Presidential Rule

By Arian Mufid:

President Masud Barzani

President Masud Barzani

In August it will be time to elect the President of Kurdistan. Back in 2013 all the parties in the Kurdistan parliament passed a vote of confidence in Masud Barzani, re-electing him as President. The issue of whether Barzani should once again be re-elected, after his term expires, is hot topic of the month. A fierce debate is underway – people are asking how can he be re-elected for a third time, and so on. The Gorran movement, which now shares power in the government, wants the Kurdistan parliament to decide and to demonstrate its power. The PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) is also advocating the parliamentary system and already Barham Salih has put this case to journalists. Ali Bapir, leader of the KIU (Kurdistan Islamic Union), and a close friend of Masud Barzani, told a local TV station that, if Barzani thinks there is no alternative to himself, he must be mistaken. The other opposition parties have similar ideas. On this basis it currently seems clear that a majority of votes in parliament will not be cast in favour of re-electing Barzani.

On 16th April Masud  Barzani responded for the first time to all the controversy and speculation by claiming in a statement that “the enemies of Kurdistan” have used every possible method to undermine the nation and that “unfortunately a new method of antagonizing Kurdish nation has appeared which is through media statements, and articles aiming at initiating a civil war in our region”. This statement comes at a time of huge public disaffection. The mood on the street is of unhappiness with Barzani for raising the prospect of fratricidal conflict at a time when we have the most dangerous of enemies on our doorstep. Every party, except Barzani’s KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party), has reacted very badly to the statement. The PUK leadership told the local media on Thursday that Kurdistan is not on the edge on civil war and there is no such danger in the region. A Gorran movement MP told the ‘Lvin’ newspaper that “the only danger is to the post of the president of Kurdistan”.

These developments show once again that president Barzani and his KDP want to hang onto power indefinitely. Barzani’s statement shows the true colour of the man. Although he mentioned democracy and the power of the people, his statement reveals a lack of true passion for the post and that he cannot accept any new ideas in the south of Kurdistan.

The KDP and its leadership presume that the destiny of Kurdistan is forever dependent on themselves. But the mass of the people have come to realise that Barzani and his party are the authors of economic mismanagement. The people of Kurdistan know that the President has taken Kurdistan back to the edge of destruction by failing to pursue the independence case with due skill and care, and instead provoking the Arab nationalists. Barzani is not a leader the people of Kurdistan should re-elect as president for the simple reason that he has failed to deliver the sovereignty of this nation during his last 23 years in power.

He has also failed to deal effectively with the central government in Baghdad, tackle corruption, or address the fundamental issues facing of this nation – human rights, democracy and national security. President Barzani seems to want us to see 2015 as a ‘year zero’ just because Kurdistan is engaged in war with IS.  The Barzani clan have forgiven themselves for their reckless rule and expect everyone else to follow suit. However, if we want to see what Masud Barzani will do in the future, we must look at the past.

Due to the war with IS the mood of the people has changed a lot because the President of Kurdistan’s response to the Daesh threat came very late, and after our enemies had captured Sinjar and others areas. We don’t really need a president, but we do need a strong parliament and strong institutions. Opposition to Masud Barzani means more support and love for the people of Kurdistan. President Barzani wants to use the Daesh war as a gift to stay in power. But he has failed to prove his credentials and now he has a moral duty to relinquish power and let the Kurdistan parliament rule this nation.

5 Responses to South of Kurdistan Needs Strong Parliamentary System, Not Presidential Rule
  1. Karwan
    April 20, 2015 | 18:15

    To all Kurds and Kurdistanis:

    Beware there are plans to undermine all parts of Kurdistan, possibility an internal or ethnic conflict.

    No Division.
    Stay united.

  2. Dilshad
    April 20, 2015 | 19:03

    The fact of the matter is HE President Obamas Administration has been trying hard to convience Barzani to step down , accept another position in Iraq or at least share absolute power with all Kurdish political parties that may force Barzani to go for an ill-timed move ( independence) which will have devasting consequences.

    Its not fair to only pin the blame on KDP for rampant corruption. It has affected most KRGs institutions and political parties in Kurdistan.

    A leader should do whats in the best
    interest of his nation or country.

    Barzani should go for a parlimentary system or any other form of power-sharing agreement.

    No monopoly of power.
    No more son-to-father transfer of powerin Kurdistan.

  3. Khalil
    April 20, 2015 | 19:05

    Peace & Dialogue is the solution.

  4. K.I.M
    April 21, 2015 | 17:20

    Request for support from Kurdish political parties and Kurds next strong Ally of Kurdistan ( Isreal) for peaceful independence for South.

  5. Kuvan Bamarny
    April 22, 2015 | 15:04

    Rule of law and fair and free election are the best way forward to elect a government.I believe empowering and strengthening the democratic governmental institutions,and applying the system of check and balances are the most important to key factors towards a successful political administration.

    Democracy is only meaningful and effective when the rights of minorities are protected by law from the hypothetical dictatorship of majorities.

    Furthermore,Parliament represent the will of people ,when a parliament elect a president that means people have elected a presedent.However system of check and balance need to be more prices and effective on each branch of the government including the rule of president.

    A civilized patriotic nation is a nation that would not betray each other ,or sell each other to a foreigners or stab each other from the back for money ,throne or pride and honor.

    Hopefully this presidency election will bring about more understanding and unity among all Kurdish people and political parties , and will also become a source of ,love ,brotherhood,more trust and loyalty among Kurdish people.

    P.S. I was just released from Zerka jail in Duhok, after I was detained for three days of unfair and illegal detention that was involved ,disrespect,assult against me by a police officer at Nawrooz police station in Duhok.

    Kuvan Bamarny/Duhok

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