The de­ter­mi­na­tion of a Peo­ple, the des­tiny of a Na­tion

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Gazi Has­san

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.

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