Think beyond the narrow interest!

By Zeravan Barwary:

The philosophical basis of creating governments and designing political systems is to serve the people. The political party system which manages the competition among different parties with various ideologies is usually conducted for the benefit of the people. Economic and political projects are the main factors which affect the domestic political hegemony. In modern democracy, the government is the tool to identify which political party is responding to the public needs and concerns, and which political project understands the input from the public and how, through its output, it meets peoples’ needs. This called transparency in the political process.

Six months have passed since the parliamentary election took place in Kurdistan, and still people are waiting for the eighth cabinet to be formed by the winning parties. However, the main actors are still negotiating about the power division, who gets what! This has created an unacceptable situation, affecting negatively the daily life and even the economy and trade. People do not so much care about who is governing; they are more concerned about stability in terms of the political and economic situation.

By contrast the Kurdish political parties believe that they have all solutions and, if they do not participate in the government, then nothing can done. This kind of thinking and doing politics has no value any more, in a modern democracy. There should be flexibility in the political process in Kurdistan; this can be achieved through a common understanding among Kurdish political parties. It is the right time to re-think about the national interest and national security: we must have a new strategy that helps us to re-draw our policy both with the central government in Iraq and with neighboring countries. Otherwise, there will be no final chapter to our crisis, which will affect our people negatively.

The wining Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has held negotiations with almost all the political parties in Kurdistan; this has taken place due to the Parties’ Will to get seats in the coming cabinet and form a national government comprising a big coalition of all parties. This might be a right decision in some aspects. However, it is not the right one in terms of having a strong opposition and observation of the executive authority in Kurdistan. There should be some parties that prefer the opposition role. The image of what being in opposition means is wrong in Kurdistan and, for some political parties, such as the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), it is time to accept the reality. I think nobody can ignore the role of this party in the freedom movement, and its role in the new Iraq after 2003. However, the people are deciding who shall govern them, and I strongly believe the opposition role will be the most suitable one for the PUK if it considers the current situation, or at least accepts the new political map drawn by the election result.

The Goran Movement and Islamic parties can join the government, as part of their effort to achieve their dream to be in power. However, this will not be free of charge; they have to pay for their participation, and be responsible for whatever is happening inside the region, and there should be serious efforts to achieve political and economic reforms.  Currently, each party has its own responsibility for the delay in forming the eighth cabinet. The people voted to see the promises made by political parties carried out in reality. The ordinary individual does not care about who gets what, and which party controls which ministry. It is time to think beyond the narrow interest. And think in a national manner.

In conclusion, political elites in Kurdistan must re-think about the vital interests of the Kurdish people. There should be a common interest which brings all actors together to create Kurdistan unity and development; there are economic and political opportunities for the Kurdistan Regional Government to be a great example in the region.

Zeravan Barwary is a lecturer at the University of Duhok


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