KDP ready for elec­tion with great con­fi­dence

Ja’afar Eminky, spokesman of the Kur­dis­tan Demo­cratic Party:

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

Over the last three weeks, there has been a sig­nif­i­cant in­flux of Syr­ian Kurds into the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion. Ini­tially, the KRG in­tended to close the bor­der, fear­ing that Western Kur­dis­tan would empty, but some par­ties ap­plied pres­sure and in­ter­preted the mat­ter in a po­lit­i­cal way. The num­ber of peo­ple es­cap­ing war and crises was also in­creas­ing, which is why the KRG re­spected hu­man­i­tar­ian con­cerns and opened the doors to aid the Kurds and Syr­ian refugees in gen­eral.

The KDP is a pow­er­ful mem­ber of the gov­ern­ing coali­tion in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion. The party ad­min­is­ters the ar­eas bor­der­ing Syria and Turkey, and has a pub­lic and his­toric rep­u­ta­tion among the Kurds of Western Kur­dis­tan as well as the peo­ple of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion it­self. Of course, the party also felt a moral and hu­man­i­tar­ian duty and re­spon­si­bil­ity to the Kurds of Western Kur­dis­tan which it could not ig­nore.

Ja’afar Eminky, the KDP spokesman, stated in an in­ter­view with the Kur­dish Globe that the rev­o­lu­tion be­gan two years ago in Syria, and that the Kurds were the first el­e­ment in the coun­try to de­mand free­dom and democ­racy as well as cul­tural and hu­man­i­tar­ian rights. He went on to say that the KDP has fully sup­ported this rev­o­lu­tion for achiev­ing democ­racy and free­dom, that it con­sid­ers the Kur­dish ques­tion to be le­git­i­mate, and that it has pro­vided hu­man­i­tar­ian and lo­gis­ti­cal sup­port to Western Kur­dis­tan. This sup­port and these re­la­tions are still on­go­ing, but the KDP is not in fa­vor of the Kurds evac­u­at­ing their homes. Rather, we would pre­fer to pro­vide them with eco­nomic, hu­man­i­tar­ian and health aid within Western Kur­dis­tan and avoid a mass em­i­gra­tion. Al­though the is­sue has been dis­cussed with the PUK and other par­ties in the KRG, too, the sit­u­a­tion re­mains out of con­trol, and Syria’s Kur­dish cit­i­zens are still un­der threat and pres­sure.

Eminky says they have made no ef­forts to hide the fact that the KDP has a po­lit­i­cal plan for this part of Kur­dis­tan which re­spects the lat­i­tude of po­lit­i­cal par­ties and the for­ma­tion of a uni­fied po­lit­i­cal front. This was why the Hawler Agree­ment was signed un­der the su­per­vi­sion of Pres­i­dent Ma­soud Barzani, though un­for­tu­nately some par­ties have still to com­mit to it.

It is true that the hu­man­i­tar­ian aid was a good thing, but the bor­der was be­ing used by a party in Western Kur­dis­tan for trad­ing pur­poses and was be­ing ex­ploited for po­lit­i­cal pur­poses as well. On this, Eminky had the fol­low­ing to tell the Globe: “The bor­ders were open, but there was smug­gling, which is why bor­der con­trols were tight­ened. This was not in fa­vor of any one group. The bor­ders were also tight­ened for two weeks to put pres­sure on po­lit­i­cal par­ties to reach an agree­ment on the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Western Kur­dis­tan po­lit­i­cally and ad­min­is­tra­tively. This was in­tended as a step to­wards peace and di­a­logue. We did not want the refugees to em­i­grate en masse, but now there are over 200 000 Syr­ian Kur­dish cit­i­zens set­tled in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion. And just as we do not dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween parts of Kur­dis­tan, from the hu­man­i­tar­ian prospec­tive we also pro­vide sup­port and aid to our broth­ers in Syria. The or­ga­ni­za­tions of the KDP has run a ma­jor cam­paign urg­ing peo­ple to help and col­lect­ing aid, es­pe­cially in Er­bil. Za­gros TV has done great work in this field.

What hap­pened was a conse-

The KDP be­lieves in lat­i­tude of po­lit­i­cal par­ties and the for­ma­tion of a uni­fied po­lit­i­cal front in Western Kur­dis­tan

We will go to the Supreme Court if any vi­o­la­tion oc­cur that af­fect the elec­tion re­sults”

___ Ja’afar Eminky

quence of the ter­ri­ble po­lit­i­cal pres­sure put on the KRG, which obliged the Re­gion to change its plans re­gard­ing the treat­ment of refugees. More­over, some par­ties ob­vi­ously in­tend to use the pres­sure as a card to play against the KDP in the up­com­ing elec­tions. Ja’afar Eminky agrees that events did seem to have been planned in ad­vance against South­ern Kur­dis­tan--a plan in­volv­ing the em­i­gra­tion of Kurds into Western Kur­dis­tan, be­cause they think they are orig­i­nally from Turk­ish Kur­dis­tan. On the other hand, they said that the su­per pow­ers will es­tab­lish a state in the South of Kur­dis­tan, which is why they want the pop­u­la­tion of the Re­gion to in­crease and are urg­ing Syr­ian Kurds to em­i­grate to the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion. This may play well with Turkey and some other coun­tries. As the KDP, we con­sider these sce­nar­ios far-fetched, and we would like the Kurds to re­turn to their homes. Western Kur­dis­tan should not be evac­u­ated and its peo­ple should not em­i­grate.

The use of chem­i­cal weapon has been one of the key top­ics dis­cussed in the world me­dia over the last ten days, and the su­per­pow­ers are plan­ning to stop this kind of crime be­ing re­peated. Eminky said that the KRG ex­pressed its views and con­demned these crimes, which have re­minded us Kurds of our deep­est wounds. In the East, the Kurds are vic­tims of this kind of banned weapon, which is why the KDP con­sid­ers this a se­ri­ous crime against hu­man­ity which the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity should pre­vent and pun­ish.

Re­gard­ing in­ter­na­tional pres­sure against the Syr­ian govern­ment, Eminky told the Globe: “I be­lieve the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity will soon have its say and in­ter­fere in the cri­sis. They will not stand by a coun­try that has used chem­i­cal weapon. The time and place are not cer­tain, but this will change the bal­ance of the war in Syria.

I think that Rus­sia and China will opt for non-align­ment af­ter the crime and the re­ac­tion of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity; they, too, can­not stand by a coun­try that has used chem­i­cal weapons. Iran, too, has changed its stance in re­gard to Syria af­ter its use of chem­i­cal weapons.

Re­gard­ing the in­ter­nal is­sues and dis­unity of the Syr­ian Kurds, Eminky told the Kur­dish Globe that a united po­lit­i­cal front would have to come be­fore any­thing else. They should add to the Hawler agree­ment. It is not pos­si­ble to di­vide Kur­dish com­mu­nity in Syria among po­lit­i­cal groups. What con­cerns us is the dis­unity of the Kurds, be­cause this is the weak­ness of the Kurds in Western Kur­dis­tan. The sit­u­a­tion can­not im­prove un­less prac­ti­cal steps are taken to bring this united po­lit­i­cal front about, and the KDP will keep the bal­ance and sup­port all po­lit­i­cal par­ties with­out dis­tinc­tion. We are against no one and our sup­port is on­go­ing. We ex­pect these par­ties to step wisely in the di­rec­tion which will re­sult in the co­her­ence of pow­ers and po­lit­i­cal views, be­cause the changes are ahead, and they will have an im­pact on the Kurds.

We’re con­cerned that Kurds in this part of Kur­dis­tan were late in or­ga­niz­ing their po­lit­i­cal ca­pa­bil­ity and ad­min­is­trat­ing the coun­try, and times are mov­ing fast. If we com­pare them with the Syr­ian Op­po­si­tion and Free Army, the lat­ter were bet­ter or­ga­nized. The PKK, which is linked to the PYD, should have played a more pos­i­tive role, be­cause they took on a lot of re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

Re­gard­ing the elec­tions and the elec­toral cam­paign which started on Au­gust 28th, Eminky said: We have al­ways been in fa­vor of the elec­tions, which is why we in­sisted on the elec­tion be­ing held on Septem­ber 21st. We be­lieve in our­selves, we be­lieve in our vot­ers, and we be­lieve the elec­tion will be held in full ac­cor­dance with the rules. In­ter­na­tional stan­dards should be ap­plied dur­ing the elec­tion, and any vi­o­la­tions that af­fect the re­sults of the elec­tion will be brought be­fore the Supreme Court.

He said that their teams have been trained in not­ing vi­o­la­tions. The best re­ac­tion is to file a law­suit against them: “We be­lieve in hand­ing over power.” Re­gard­ing accepting the re­sults he said that the Party had been in­formed that some el­e­ments have or­dered their sup­port­ers to burn bal­lot boxes in KDP-dom­i­nated ar­eas, this is hav­ing a psy­cho­log­i­cal and po­lit­i­cal im­pact on the out­come of the elec­tion, and caus­ing trouble and dis­or­der. How­ever, we are ready to par­tic­i­pate law­fully and to help the process which will have an im­pact on the Kurds’ image at all lev­els.

Re­gard­ing the re­sults of the elec­tion, if ev­ery­thing was law­ful, we will ac­cept them: we live in a democ­racy. Other par­ties, how­ever, do not be­lieve in democ­racy. We should not for­get that the phe­nom­e­non of cast­ing doubts about the elec­tion and its fu­ture out­come has come from the op­po­si­tion. This is an odd and ter­ri­ble ac­tion, which is why the KDP is ready for power.

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