Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Kurdistan opposition unanimously demands govt. reshuffle

Wednesday, April 6th 2011 10:09 AM Sulaimaniya, April 6 (AKnews)- The three opposition factions to the Kurdistan Region parliament announced a common reform project after meeting Tuesday, whereby they reiterated call for forming a transitional government. Senior leaders from the Goran (Change) Movement, Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) and Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG) met in Sulaimaniya city Tuesday to discuss previous meetings with the ruling parties.

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) met with the three parties in the past week individually. The assemblies were to find a solution to convince the stretchy rallies of thousands of reform-demanding protesters in Sulaimaniya province. The opposition agreed on a reform project which was revealed at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. The statement said the opposition unanimously demands dissolving the current government and replacing it with a transitional one, based on “accord” principle.

It was only Goran which called for government break up late January, not the two Islamic parties. The transitional government, the leaders said, should enforce the 20 basic and multi-dimensional perform provisions that the opposition has stipulated so far. After the protests in Sulaimaniya led to violence Feb.17 onwards, parliament arranged for some urgent sessions where the opposition factions jointly proposed some terms to calm the outraged demonstrators; observers said some of these terms were purely opposition demands and some were public demands.

The transitional government is also required to set the stage for “free and transparent general elections under the auspices of an impartial government.” Governmental institutions should also prevent fraud or any illegal interference, providing equal opportunities for all the participants. The third point of the project compels the opposition parties to jointly and with one common agenda meet with the ruling parties in any future dialogs.

As for the procedures details of forming the transitional government, Mohammed Hakim, a KIG politburo member at the press conference said that will be discussed in a five-sided meeting with the ruling parties, “if they agree on such an assembly.” In the press conferences after separate meetings with each opposition faction, the PUK politburo member, Mala Bakhtiyar, said the leading parties are preparing for two other sessions of talks with the opposition.

The first one which would gather leaders from all the five parties was supposed to be followed by another one, on the level of presidents of the five parties. However, such meetings were no meant to discuss government dissolution but “boosting relations and calming protesters.” Since the eruption of violence in Sulaimaniya, one of the three provinces of the semi-autonomous Kurdish government in northern Iraq, nine have been killed, over 250 wounded and tens arrested. Asked if opposition will participate in the would-be transitional government it propose, Abubakir Karwani from the KIU politburo said “it is early to talk about that.” What matters is that the five parties should discuss the reform project, he added, hoping that would be feasible.

In March Kurdistan Region president, Massoud Barzani initially sanctioned early elections by asking parliament to discuss the possibility. However, no decision is made so far and speculations say at least six months is required to hold such elections. Shortly after president’s public address, Goran issued a statement, saying it does not recognize and will not back such elections if a transitional government is not formed ahead of the voting. At a time when the Kurdistan Region is preparing for Provincial Council Elections Sept.10, the chance for general elections seems quite slim.

Reported by Dilshad Saifaddin Lh/AKnews

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