Af­ter many false dawns, Kur­dis­tan fi­nally forms new govern­ment

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - Bash­dar Pusho Is­maeel


KDP and Gor­ran an­nounced an agree­ment for a new coali­tion govern­ment along with the Is­lamic League (Ko­mal). Cru­cially, this left the PUK on the side­lines with the of­fi­cial line that the PUK is still mulling over it op­tions but clearly the PUK would be dis­ap­pointed at de­vel­op­ments with its op­tions now to swal­low pride and ac­cept what it is given on the ta­ble or de­clare its op­po­si­tion.

The Is­lamic Union (Yek­girtu) also re­mained un­de­cided on its par­tic­i­pa­tion in the new coali­tion govern­ment.

Ei­ther way, the prospect of a par­lia­ment ses­sion re­con­ven­ing next week is a wel­come boost for Kur­dis­tan just days be­fore the Iraqi na­tional elec­tions and Kur­dis­tan provin­cial elec­tions.

In democ­racy, any po­lit­i­cal party has its ups and downs and the idea of pleas­ing ev­ery party is a non-starter.

If the cab­i­net is go­ing to be di­vided in man­ner to ap­pease all par­ties then why hold elec­tions in the first place? Why would a po­lit­i­cal party care if takes a blow at the polls if it is able to se­cure its de­sired num­ber of po­si­tions any­way?

This is par­tic­u­larly true of the PUK who fin­ished third in the elec­tions. The PUK must now re­group, change its strat­egy and win back lost vot­ers. This is the trace of a true democ­racy and hap­pens in ev­ery ma­jor western coun­try. The PUK re­mains in­flu­en­tial but can­not cling on out­dated strate­gic agree­ments or de­mand an eq­ui­table dis­tri­bu­tion of posts.

As for Gor­ran, par­tic­i­pa­tion in the new govern­ment com­pletes a re­mark­able trans­for­ma­tion. They stood for change, for trans­parency, for re­form and for a dif­fer­ent Kur­dis­tan. A sub­stan­tial num­ber of vot­ers signed up to their man­i­festo, but can Gor­ran now deliver?

Play­ing the op­po­si­tion or run­ning a joint govern­ment are dif­fer­ent mat­ters. Pol­i­tics can be very fickle and Gor­ran is now in a po­si­tion where it can con­tinue its as­cen­dency or find it­self in the op­po­si­tion shad­ows come the next elec­tion.

Gor­ran has been the given the plat­form to im­ple­ment change and its elec­tion pro­gramme with the min­istries it has se­cured. It has se­cured the vi­tal min­istries of Pesh­merga, Econ­omy and Fi­nance, Trade and In­dus­try, En­dow­ment & Re­li­gious Af­fairs, Chair­man­ship of the In­vest­ment Board as wells as the speaker of par­lia­ment.

Con­trol of the Pesh­merga min­istry was vi­tal for Gor­ran. His­tor­i­cally the Pesh­merga forces have been dom­i­nated by the KDP and PUK. In fact the PUK still has strong in­flu­ence over se­cu­rity, even if its voter base has dwin­dled. Gor­ran can now play a leading role in cre­at­ing state se­cu­rity forces. The KDP and Gor­ran have agreed on a set of prin­ci­ples that bodes well for Kur­dis­tan. Timely and mea­sured im­ple­men­ta­tion of these re­forms is now vi­tal. A bold and en­com­pass­ing strat­egy should be matched with real ac­tion and not just rhetoric and lengthy im­ple­men­ta­tion

With Kur­dis­tan hold­ing its first provin­cial elec­tions in eight years, this will fur­ther pla­cate changes in the Kur­dis­tan po­lit­i­cal land­scape.

Changes in leg­is­la­ture mean that provin­cial coun­cils will have more power. As such provin­cial elec­tions have taken on much more sig­nif­i­cance for Kurds than the Iraqi na­tional elec­tions that are un­likely to re­sult in any real change in Bagh­dad from a Kur­dish per­spec­tive. This is demon­strated by elec­tion cam­paigns through­out Er­bil fo­cus­ing on can­di­dates se­cur­ing provin­cial votes.

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