The Change Movement (Gorran)'s late leader and founder Nawshirwan Mustafa. File photo: Rudaw
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – Under mounting pressure from party members to address its poor performance in the recent KRG election, the leadership of the Change Movement (Gorran) recently promised to hold internal elections. Preparations are also underway to hold its national congress.
Ismael Namiq, head of Gorran’s law office, has said the party delayed its national congress and internal elections due to the death of its leader and founder Nawshirwan Mustafa, the September 30 Kurdistan Region parliamentary election, and other events.
“We have decided to hold our national conference soon to review our performance in the past four years and set our agenda for the next four years,” Namiq said.
Rudaw has learnt from some Gorran officials that most of the party’s national assembly wants to hold the congress first and then have party elections, citing drawbacks in the party’s charter which they think should be rectified before holding a vote.
“Committees have been formed for the conference which is expected to be held in late February 2019,” a member of Gorran national assembly said.
In the conference, the National Assembly, the General Assembly, and the Implementation Body will not be reelected or changed. Rather, party by-laws will be changed.
The current by-laws on electing party representatives at the organizational level are likely to be changed. Some Gorran officials also want the national conference to be given the power to elect Gorran’s leadership.
“When the current party by-laws were written, Nawshirwan was of the view that Kurdish diaspora should have less than five members in the national assembly. But the majority voted in favor of them having seven members in the national assembly and this was finally fixed in the party by-laws,” the member of Gorran national assembly said.
“Nawshirwan wanted some questions to be settled by a majority vote. That is why some of the articles that address such issues are likely to be amended in the national conference,” they added.
The death of Nawshirwan Mustafa raised questions about the future of the party. Gorran soon ran into a leadership crisis, which critics say was deepened by Mustafa’s sons. Gorran’s problems became apparent after the party lost half of its seats in the recent Kurdish and Iraqi parliamentary elections.
Gorran first took part in Kurdish parliamentary elections on July 25, 2009. This marked the beginning of Gorran’s political life. The party held its first national congress in Erbil on December 26, 2013, in which party by-laws were drafted.
One year later, on December 12, 2014, Gorran held internal party elections in which Mustafa and most other leaders were reelected. According to party by-laws, a national conference should be held once every four years and internal party elections once every two year. Both should have been held a year ago.
Some Gorran officials rejoined the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) – from which the party originally split – a few days before the Kurdish parliamentary election was held.
“We have information that the PUK is intensively working to convince through money and material gains Gorran officials to return to the PUK. That is why we think it is imperative to hold party elections and the congress as soon as possible in order to make changes in internal politics,” a Gorran official told Rudaw.