The determination of a People, the destiny of a Nation
The Kurdistan parliamentary election is done and, as the international and foreign observers who observed the voting process say, the election took place without pressure being exerted on voters to change their vote or direction. Voting stations were peaceful and calm and people voted without fear for the lists and candidates they had chosen. So we can say the election campaigns were conducted in a free and highly democratic spirit which marks a great improvement on previous years. But the results are about to be called into question. This seems to relate to the complex relations and joint history of the two strongest opposition parties: the PUK and the Gorran Movement. This is undoubtedly a normal reaction given the tension between the two ruthless opponents and the need for the two parties to maintain their joint positions. However, the PUK has now officially stated that they respect the will and vote of the people and will accept the results. This will reduce tensions and is undoubtedly a move in the right direction.
This time round, the voting process and the participation of political parties with separate lists warmed up the voting process with candidates and party officials visiting people and contacting them directly to promise them a better life. This is another move in the right direction, and the political parties will now consider plans for providing more services to the people during elections and for administering the country.
Another side of the process is respect for the people’s decision and determination--and all parties claim to respect the will and votes of the people. After the vote, some parties even claimed that they would fight for the will and vote of the people at a time when slogans of this kind are absolutely political. It is felt that calling upon the will of the people is not very different from using it de- ceitfully to deflect Kurdistan from pursuing what is best for it. And some parties want to change the results to further their own interests, which is another cause for concern. Moreover, the victory of some parties should not be taken as a reason for taking revenge on their rivals: doing so will boost a psychology of rejection instead of tolerance.
Apart from reflecting the destiny of our political parties, this election will impact directly on the destiny of the Kurds and Kurdistan. Because it is the first time since the first parliamentary election in 1992 that the voting process has taken place in a calm and free environment. This will allow Kurdistan to counter criticisms that its authorities have divided power and positions between themselves, and the Region can now point to its democratic elections and the participation of all parties and components in Kurdistan.
The important thing in this process is that the destiny of the Kurds and all the other groups in the KRG, such as the Turkman, Assyrian and Kildan minorities, will also be affected positively by this process. In a Middle East full of killing and human rights violations, and in the context of the Arab Spring uprisings and the massacres in Syria, the people in the South of Kurdistan voted freely to choose their political destiny, for better government and services, and for enhanced democracy. The 74% turnout and the results will have a direct impact on the future of Kurdistan and the value of voting. Consequently, the political parties should consider this election an achievement for Kurdistan, and the current situation here in Kurdistan should be used to promote democracy and to encourage further construction. But the will and vote of the people must be respected for the sake of the people of Kurdistan.