Fazil Mirani, head of KDP political bureau. Photo: Rudaw
After elections in Iraq last month and a vote planned in Kurdistan in three and a half months’ time, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) is maintaining an open door policy, according to senior member Fazil Mirani.
In Baghdad, the KDP is pursuing a specific purpose – one of partnership and balance, he explained.
In the Kurdistan Region, the party is hoping to rebuild relations with Kurdish parties.
Mirani, secretary general of KDP’s politburo, led his party’s delegation in a visit to Baghdad after last month’s parliamentary election.
The following is an edited version of his interview with Rudaw.
Rudaw: Following the Iraqi parliamentary election, the KDP has tried to bring all the Kurdish parties together in a meeting, but has so far failed. Will you try again to invite the parties to meet?
We will never lose hope in this matter because this is KDP’s strategy. We feel responsible toward our own nation, and hence will not get tired in the first, second or third attempt. We will continue our efforts until we gather the Kurds and form a joint delegation for Baghdad. We can achieve our rights in Baghdad easier if we are united. We want partnership in the army, budget and oil law. Our friends in Baghdad didn’t perform well in Baghdad, nor did we have a lawyer defending these questions in Baghdad, nor did the Iraqi parliament make an effort to prevent it from turning into a one-man’s show. This is an inappropriate situation in Iraq.
An alliance of Muqtada al-Sadr, Ayad Allawi and Ammar al-Hakim has been declared. Will the KDP and PUK join this coalition?
I believe we shouldn’t rush. I said in Baghdad that we were not there seeking positions of power. We are pursuing a purpose – we have the problem of a nation. We didn’t go there to seek ministerial positions, positions of the president of the republic or speaker of the parliament. We want to resolve the problem of Kurdistan. We as the KDP suggest that we the winning lists sit together and form a committee of experts, design an agenda for the next government before the next prime minister is appointed because we think
In Kurdistan, our priority is to implement the principle of partnership and agreement
having an agenda matters.
In this agenda, Iraq’s priorities are to bring about security, improve economic conditions, political reconciliation of the communities, reconstruction and return of IDPs to their own places who have placed a big burden on the KRG. In Kurdistan, our priority is to implement the principle of partnership and agreement – the agreement on which Iraq is based. The second principle of partnership is balance. Third, the question of Peshmerga and budget. Fourth, the question of oil and gas law. Fifth, salaries of martyrs and political prisoners. Kurdistan’s budget should be fixed in an agreement too.
There is heated debate about Kurdistan’s parliamentary election. The PUK has reportedly called for the election to be delayed until December. Have you reached an agreement on this issue?
The KDP will not make any decisions as of now. KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and the electoral body will make the decision. We as the KDP will support decisions made by our government.
Will a presidential election be held in Kurdistan as well?
We think it is good for the Kurdistan Region to have a constitution that specifies the way the regional president is elected, which has been a point of contention between us and our allies. We want the president of the Kurdistan Region to be elected by the people, regardless of who becomes president. Some parties disagree with us on this. They want the president to be elected by the parliament.
We want the president of the Kurdistan Region to be elected by the people
Both ways exist in the world. We want the way the regional president is elected to be stipulated and fixed in the constitution, rather than become an argument among parties each time we hold an election.
How is your relation with Gorran now?
We and Gorran are Kurdish parties and people of Kurdistan. We haven’t turned our backs on each other. They are just upset with us. They have said a political joke that the PUK has tricked them this time by stealing their votes. When their headquarters was fired at, they said it was the PUK and KDP doing it. KDP members in Sulaimani say that they will say it is KDP doing it next time their headquarters come under fire. Our door is open. We both are Kurdish and brothers living in this country. We both are partners in this country. We will be together in the parliament. We hope we can reach an agreement and improve these cold relations. It’s our national will that no one can banish the other from this country. We cannot strip each other from citizenship rights. We will enter elections together again, and might even be partners in the next cabinet. This is politics and there is no zero or 100 percent in politics. In politics, you cannot close doors.