KDP ready for election with great confidence
Ja’afar Eminky, spokesman of the Kurdistan Democratic Party:
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.