Kurds need unity to over­take the post-elec­tion chal­lenges in Bagh­dad

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE - By Salih Wal­ad­bagi

The Iraqis, in­clud­ing the Kurds in the north­ern Re­gion of Kur­dis­tan, cast vote on 30 April, 2014 for the first time af­ter the U.S. troops pulled out from Iraq in 2011. The ini­tial re­sults show that none of the po­lit­i­cal par­ties have so far won the ma­jor­ity of the votes to form the next govern­ment. Mean­ing: they should wait for long po­lit­i­cal wran­gling.

The Iraqis, in­clud­ing the Kurds in the north­ern Re­gion of Kur­dis­tan, cast vote on 30 April, 2014 for the first time af­ter the U.S. troops pulled out from Iraq in 2011. The ini­tial re­sults show that none of the po­lit­i­cal par­ties have so far won the ma­jor­ity of the votes to form the next govern­ment. Mean­ing: they should wait for long po­lit­i­cal wran­gling.

The Kur­dish po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship should think of form­ing a united Kur­dish al­liance and get ready to de­fend the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion’s rights in Bagh­dad, cap­i­tal of federal Iraq, in the post­elec­tion bar­gains.

The ma­jor chal­lenges for the up­com­ing Kur­dish Parliamentarians are: the ne­go­ti­a­tions over oil and gas rev­enues; find­ing a so­lu­tion for Kur­dis­tan's share which has been one of the key is­sues since 2003; find a so­lu­tion for the con­sti­tu­tional Ar­ti­cle 140 to set­tle the dis­putes over the Kur­dish ar­eas now out­side the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Govern­ment's (KRG) ad­min­is­tra­tion as well as the budget of the Pesh­marga .

The Kur­dish Parliamentarians have to be sup­ported fully by the Kur­dish lead­er­ship as well as by the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Pres­i­dency with the in­ten­tion of hav­ing a strong say in Bagh­dad dur­ing the talks.

Ac­cord­ing to the ini­tial and in­for­mal sta­tis­tics pub­lished by the me­dia out­lets af­fil­i­ated with the Kur­dish po­lit­i­cal par­ties, all the Kur­dish par­ties to­gether might gain 58 par­lia­men­tary seats in the elec­tions, around the same num­ber of seats (57) that they gained in the last elec­tion in 2010.

Since the last Septem­ber Par­lia­men­tary elec­tions in Kur­dis­tan, the five ma­jor Kur­dish po­lit­i­cal par­ties, the Kur­dis­tan Demo­cratic Party (KDP) which came out the strong­est party in the elec­tions and led by the Re­gional Pres­i­dent Mas­soud Barzani, the Pa­tri­otic Union of Kur­dis­tan (PUK) led by the ail­ing Pres­i­dent Jalal Tal­a­bani, the Change Move­ment (Gor­ran) led by Noshir­wan Mustafa who split from the PUK in 2009, the Kur­dis­tan Is­lamic Union (KIU) and Kur­dis­tan Is­lamic Group (KIG) have not been able to form KRG cab­i­net.

The signs of a se­ri­ous di­vi­sion among the Kur­dish par­ties at home will make it eas­ier for the Iraqi Shi­ite and Sunni par­ties to ex­ploit the sit­u­a­tion and uti­lize it for their own ad­van­tages.

The strength and weak­ness of the Kur­dish par­ties do­mes­ti­cally will af­fect the Kur­dish unity in Bagh­dad; this will sub­se­quently di­min­ish people's sup­ports and con­fi­dence in these po­lit­i­cal par­ties. That is what the op­po­nents wish for.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­ports, the Kur­dish par­ties do not have any am­bi­tion to fill the Iraqi Pres­i­den­tial post be­cause the Kurds be­lieve it is a cer­e­mo­nial post and they can­not push their de­mands through it. On the other hand, Jalal Tal­a­bani is no longer there to run the post. He played a peace-mak­ing role and tried to bring all the un­happy par­ties to­gether around one ta­ble.

The Kurds might wish to ex­change the Pres­i­den­tial post with the Min­istry of Fi­nance or the Min­istry of De­fense.

Prime Min­is­ter Ma­liki has, over the past month, lost sev­eral towns as the Sunni ter­ror­ist groups are back with full fo­cus on tar­get­ing the Shi­ite-led govern­ment. The people also blame the govern­ment over lack of pub­lic ser­vice projects and the wide­spread cor­rup­tion as well as the dead­en­ing bu­reau­cracy have ag­gra­vated the sit­u­a­tion even fur­ther.

The res­i­dents of Sunni prov­inces such as Nin­eveh and An­bar are frus­trated due to govern­ment short­com­ings, ac­cus­ing the govern­ment of marginal­iz­ing the Sunni par­ties in rul­ing the coun­try.

The Kurds in the north of the coun­try en­joy sta­bil­ity and se­cu­rity and a bet­ter life­style as the econ­omy boosts and many in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies op­er­ate in the Re­gion. They have pro­voked the is­sue of an in­de­pen­dent Kur­dish state in the past few years. Through cut­ting the KRG budget and con­stant row over oil, the Iraqi lead­ers in­di­rectly force the Kurds to feel that they are a dif­fer­ent na­tion. Some Iraqi lead­ers even stated openly that the Kurds are free to go their own way and de­clare in­de­pen­dence.

All the Iraqi and Kur­dish par­ties are wait­ing ea­gerly to hear the fi­nal re­sults of the elec­tions by the Iraqi In­de­pen­dent High Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (IHEC) in the up­com­ing weeks.

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