The var­i­ous sce­nar­ios of Bagh­dad, what’s the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the Kurds and what’s next?

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Gazi Has­san

Kurd’s prob­lems have al­ways lain in the man­ner of their par­tic­i­pa­tion and power shar­ing with Bag­dad. It’s ap­par­ent that this par­tic­i­pa­tion should firstly be for gain­ing the ba­sic rights of Kur­dis­tan as a coun­try with its spe­cific his­tory, its own people, and its in­ter­est be­fore the des­tiny of Iraq. In the past years, the Iraqi Prime Min­is­ter Nuri AlMa­liki, who has the most ab­so­lute power in the new Iraqi sys­tem, has been try­ing to form a govern­ment of the ma­jor­ity. What will be the po­si­tion of the Kurds and who’s go­ing to be in the ma­jor­ity? Which party is go­ing to gain the trust of Ma­liki’s new cab­i­net? These are ques­tions wait­ing for an­swers. Re­cently, pos­si­ble sce­nar­ios of form­ing the com­ing Iraqi cab­i­net have been dis­cussed.

The fi­nal re­sult of the elec­tions hasn’t been an­nounced yet. It has been re­vealed that the Nuri AlMa­liki- led State of Law bloc has ini­ti­ated con­tacts with the var­i­ous po­lit­i­cal par­ties and lists to form the new govern­ment. What’s so strange about this is that most of the par­ties in­tend to pre­vent Al-Ma­liki from tak­ing on a third term. Nev­er­the­less, prior to the an­nounce­ment of the of­fi­cial re­sults he’s of­fi­cially sent letters to many par­ties in or­der to form a coali­tion govern­ment. Nonethe­less, al-Ma­liki re­jected the idea of a coali­tion once again and in­sisted that his list will get enough votes to form the ma­jor­ity govern­ment by him­self. As I have men­tioned be­fore, the other po­lit­i­cal par­ties are strug­gling to pre­vent al-Ma­liki’s plans. That is why the spokesper­son of al-Ahrar list, Jawad Al-Jubury, told Al-Sharq Al-Awsat news­pa­per that their list is plan­ning to re­vive the Shi­ite’s “Iraqi Na­tional Al­liance.” If this plan didn’t work, they would nom­i­nate a can­di­date for the Prime Min­is­ter, but choos­ing this can­di­date will be af­ter ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Kurds and some Sunni lists, in­clud­ing al-Mu­tahi­doon.

Al-Mwatin (the cit­i­zen) Al­liance sees re­viv­ing the Iraqi Na­tional Al­liance as some­thing ur­gent. Through this old-new al­liance they can form the big­gest bloc and can ne­go­ti­ate with the other Iraqi lists and po­lit­i­cal com­po­nents to form the govern­ment. They want the next govern­ment to be strong, rep­re­sent­ing all the con­stituen­cies of the Iraqi so­ci­ety. They also in­tend to se­cure the par­tic­i­pa­tion of both the Kurds and the Sun­nis in the govern­ment. Ev­ery­thing points at the at­tempts to im­pose sanc­tions on al-Ma­liki on a cer­tain ground. The ma­jor­ity of the po­lit­i­cal par­ties can hardly imag­ine Ma­liki’s abil­ity to form the govern­ment suc­cess­fully through the pur­su­ing of his despotic pol­icy which he has been im­ple­ment­ing adamantly dur­ing his pe­riod in the of­fice. But we should keep in mind that the Shi­ites may win the ma­jor­ity of the seats and con­se­quently be right­ful to form the govern­ment.

In the past, Nouri al-Ma­liki suc­ceeded in split­ting the Sun­nis apart and sub­se­quently weak­ens them. He’s now work­ing to re­peat the same pro­ce­dure with the Kurds. The re­ac­tion of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Pres­i­dency and the po­lit­i­cal par­ties demon­strate that the Kurds should be united in Bag­dad as they al­ways have been. Al-Ma­liki again tries to di­vide and rule even the Shi­ites, par­tic­u­larly those who crit­i­cize him. Al-Mwatin has wit­nessed a rise in their votes this time, which could be a kind of awak­en­ing to al-Ma­liki’s op­po­nents, if the neigh­bor­ing coun­tries keep away from in­ter­fer­ing of course.

The "The Week" news­pa­per has pub­lished that " The Iraqi polls and form­ing the new govern­ment will last sev­eral months, dur­ing this pe­riod, al-Ma­liki will un­doubt­edly do ev­ery­thing to uti­lize the re­sults for his own ben­e­fit, and one of his char­ac­ter­is­tics is that he does not eas­ily step down."

The sce­nar­ios demon­strate that Nouri al-Ma­liki plans to form the ma­jor­ity govern­ment with al-Mu­tahidun and the Pa­tri­otic Union of Kur­dis­tan (PUK). And if this didn’t work, the sec­ond plan is to form a coali­tion to­gether with the Sadrists, Am­mar Hakim’s bloc, Allawi’s bloc and the Kur­dis­tan Demo­cratic Party (KDP). The third and fi­nal sce­nario is form­ing a na­tional govern­ment in­clud­ing all the com­po­nents: the Kurds, Sun­nis and Shi­ites, here, the posts are di­vided among the three ma­jor par­ties. If this sce­nario is put to work, al-Ma­liki will not be able to hold his cur­rent po­si­tion.

As we said, al-Ma­liki is try­ing to re­al­ize the ma­jor­ity govern­ment with the team he likes, and wants. He cer­tainly tries to neu­tral­ize his op­po­nents. At the same mo­ment, other Shi­ites blocs know well that no one can form the govern­ment on its own, and the govern­ment of the ma­jor­ity may not work that well, that is why they con­sider a coali­tion and form­ing a na­tional govern­ment with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the three main par­ties. This was clearly ex­pressed in an ar­ti­cle by al-Sabah news­pa­per’s edi­tor in chief. He says that form­ing the govern­ment of the ma­jor­ity in ac­cor­dance to the ex­pected re­sults is hard. This di­rec­tion, which even was used as in­di­ca­tions to threat, doesn’t seem to re­main ef­fec­tive.

What should the Kurds do and what share will they de­mand? This is one the cru­cial ques­tions in Kur­dis­tan nowa­days. The re­sults of 30 April polls have cre­ated a sort of a new re­al­ity that shows that some par­ties want to par­tic­i­pate in Bag­dad’s govern­ment tak­ing into ac­count their votes rates and power prior to their elec­tion’s mer­its. Some say:" it’s not pos­si­ble; we couldn’t be real part­ners in a na­tional govern­ment, whilst de­mand­ing to be part of the fu­ture govern­ment in Bag­dad. That is why some sce­nar­ios are formed on the ba­sis that the KDP and the PUK would di­vide into the two al­ready sun­dered fronts of the Sun­nis and the Shi­ites.

Un­doubt­edly, this would have dire and the most neg­a­tive con­se­quences as far as the Kurds are con­cerned. We should not over­see the im­por­tance of unity among the Kurds which has been vi­tally im­por­tant in the past years. It has averted a wide range of Bag­dad’s sin­is­ter plans against us. If the same pol­icy and the same unity couldn’t be found, we would end up in a very dis­ad­van­ta­geous po­si­tion. What’s been seen in the po­lit­i­cal par­ties’ dis­course this week: the KDP hasn’t made any de­ci­sive de­ci­sions and awaits the fi­nal re­sults and ob­serves other bloc’s agen­das and pro­grams. The KDP doesn’t seem to have red lines for any party, it looks upon the is­sues from the strat­egy that it has had the pri­or­ity in the elec­tion, that’s why it should make strate­gic and sig­nif­i­cant de­ci­sions which are not against na­tional unity and the pub­lic in­ter­est.

The PUK on the other hand, wants to put its pres­sures on the in­ter­nal and Bag­dad’s di­rec­tion which is thought to be for the sake of gain­ing many more im­por­tant seats in the KRG and re­duc­ing the pub­lic and psy­cho­log­i­cal pres­sure, and the mag­ni­fi­ca­tion of votes they’ve gained on 30 April polls.

We should also keep in mind that in pol­i­tics, one sin­gle ver­sion of pol­icy does not nec­es­sar­ily have the same re­sults and ad­van­tages. Other par­ties also are in fa­vor of the unity of the Kurds in Bag­dad, which gives an op­por­tu­nity to the author­ity in Kur­dis­tan to think metic­u­lously about the fu­ture of Kur­dis­tan and its unity.

It is of vi­tal im­por­tance that the Kurds are uni­fied in the next stage, con­sid­er­ing that the fu­ture of Iraq is based on who is go­ing to form the govern­ment. If al-Ma­liki will be the next Prime Min­is­ter, Iraq is cer­tainly go­ing to wit­ness more di­vi­sion and es­ca­lat­ing vi­o­lence, be­cause he has pre­vi­ously said that he will do ev­ery­thing, use ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to keep the Shi­ites in power in Iraq. By his de­nial of the rights of the Kurd's, he has iden­ti­fied him­self as a fighter for the Shi­ites not a Prime Min­is­ter for all. This is not just a gos­sip spo­ken by us, but the for­eign news­pa­pers are hon­estly re­fer­ring to the risk of the ex­ten­sion of the Iraqi crises, and be­lieve that Nouri al-Ma­liki is the main in­sti­ga­tor. Con­se­quently, the des­tiny of the Kurds with Arabs within a federal con­sti­tu­tional Iraq will come un­der ques­tion, as the case al­ready is.

On May 15, 2014, the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion Pres­i­dent Mas­soud Barzani met with Naw­shir­wan Mustafa, dis­cussing the re­sults of the par­lia­men­tary elec­tions, and the let­ter of the Iraqi Prime Min­is­ter to the po­lit­i­cal par­ties. Ac­cord­ing to news sources, the unity of the Kurds in the po­lit­i­cal process and the next Iraqi govern­ment has been dis­cussed. As men­tioned, the mech­a­nisms of form­ing a joint team of all Kur­dis­tani pow­ers have been dis­cussed as well to man­age the Kurd’s af­fairs in Bag­dad and study­ing the fa­vor­able posts in the new govern­ment. The me­dia has de­scribed the meet­ing in op­ti­mistic terms to form a uni­fied Kur­dish front in Bagh­dad.

We have to re­mem­ber that the Kurds’ hands have been tied for a long time be­cause of Bag­dad’s anti-Kurd pol­icy. That’s why the Kurds should make a cru­cial de­ci­sion: they should not in­volve in any coali­tion or cab­i­net with­out of­fi­cial documents signed by the Prime Min­is­ter grant­ing the Kurds what is their le­git­i­mate rights. Unity among the Kurds fac­tions is a key to suc­cess. No party should think they could achieve more through the pol­icy of ap­pease­ment to­wards Bag­dad, be­cause their power in Kur­dis­tan will even­tu­ally di­min­ish. Keep­ing alMa­liki in power means the ex­ten­sion and de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of the crises in Iraq. That’s why the Kurds should be ready whether to form a coali­tion and real par­tic­i­pa­tion in a na­tional joint govern­ment or any other al­ter­na­tives in the fu­ture. The strength and per­se­ver­ance of the Kurds al­ways lies in their unity.

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