Towards a Powerful Kurdistani Government
The election of the fourth round of the Kurdistan Parliament points the way to a new political roadmap. The first meeting went ahead on October 6, with the MPs that will sit in the fourth round of the Kurdistan Parliament taking their oath. Although the meeting did not announce the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, it nonetheless brought an end to Kurdistan’s political and legislator gap. Kurdistan is now on course to advances in its functionality and to developing its administrative, political and legal organization.
Work is already underway on preparing the way for the eighth KRG cabinet. However, local observers perceive the ongoing process as tough and beset by problems and disagreements. Focus on the media discourse and the psychological and ideological pressure being applied by the Opposition, and one may feel desperate and pessimistic. As they state their politically-motivated conditions for participating in the upcoming government, they reveal a single orientation: if the agendas of the upcoming government do not match their agendas, they will not take part. Which is to they that refuse to see anything from any perspective but their own. Kurdistan and the other parties' positions simply do not exist for them—how else could they say that if they do not take part in the government, they will tell people it will lack legitimacy because of their absence? Their discourse increasingly resembles desperate demands that will end up trapping them still more in a corner.
The responsibilities faced by the eighth KRG cabinet have presumably been rendered heavier by the inflexibility of the Opposition, increased popular awareness with regard to the choice of candidates in the election, and the increased clarity of the peoples' wishes. The political disagreement may appear stronger given the internal pressures and changes facing the region. Meanwhile, appointing Nechirvan Barzani to head the KRG and assigning him the task of negotiating with Kurdistan’s other parties may prove a very positive factor in managing the country after the PUK’s parliamentary representation dropped to 18 seats. The appointment may strengthen the KDP's hand in dealing both with the Opposition and its strategic ally, the PUK.
However, no official decisions have yet been taken on how the KDP, the largest group in Parliament, will make agreements and with whom. Still, the KDP seems unlikely to leave the PUK alone in the political wilderness; the KDP will most likely consider all the parties within a common program. Although some people and the opposition parties want to blame the PUK's failure in the election on the strategic agreement, this interpretation is false, because all of Kurdistan has benefited from this agreement on all levels.
What is important now is that the Kurdistan Region needs to move forward and form a strong government capable of working accurately and farsightedly. Internally, it should strengthen democratic principles, ensure greater openness in the media, and deal with the demands of the opposition. We should not forget that reform, openness and transparency are both constructive and a national responsibility. That is why we can be optimistic about the next stage: the appointment of the present Prime Minister to form the new cabinet will ensure that issues are dealt with softly and openly. That may well provide a common point allowing all parties to accept the future government, despite the numerous disagreements.