A guard stands in front of the Kurdistan Region's parliament building in the capital of Erbil. The body has not sat since 2015. Photo: Rudaw
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – Kurdistan’s parliament must be reactivated “as soon as possible,” the leadership of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) decided in a meeting on Thursday. The party will convey this message to two parties who have so far resisted efforts to do so.
“A decision was finally made to reactivate Kurdistan’s parliament as soon as possible on some necessary legal, economic, and political bases, and convey through a PUK envoy the message of the leadership council on the way to reactivate the parliament to the Change Movement (Gorran) and the Islamic Group (Komal) in the next two days,” read a PUK statement issued after the leadership council met at its Sulaimani headquarters, presided over by PUK deputy leader Kosrat Rasul.
The PUK will also share their plan to reconvene parliament with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and other parties.
The PUK held a meeting with their strategic partner Gorran on Wednesday but no final agreements were reached
Gorran and Komal have repeatedly insisted that parliament must be reactivated in order to issue a mandate to legitimize the Kurdistan independence referendum, scheduled for September 25, and have to date refrained from participating in meetings and negotiations regarding the vote.
Earlier this week the two parties issued a joint statement demanding parliament be reconvened
in order to address the referendum issue as well as other matters including austerity measures that led to salary cuts for public employees.
Gorran has not yet responded to a proposal from the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which has dropped previous conditions on reconvening the legislature. Neither Gorran nor Komal have said they oppose the referendum or independence, but they object to the manner in which the vote has been called and organized – via party consensus rather than through the elected legislature.