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Rudaw

Kurdistan

PUK boycotts today's referendum meeting unless parliament reopens

By Rudaw 8/7/2017
The PUK was instrumental, along the KDP, in deciding September 25 for the vote. File photo: Rudaw
The PUK was instrumental, along the KDP, in deciding September 25 for the vote. File photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdish committee tasked with making preparations for Kurdistan Region’s September 25 referendum was meeting with President Masoud Barzani in Erbil today when one of the main subscribers to the initiative, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), refused to send its representative to the meeting unless the suspended parliament is reopened.

Mahmud Sangawi, a senior PUK official stated on Saturday that though they support the referendum, their support remains conditional to the reactivation of parliament.

Sangawi said that the party had decided earlier that they support the referendum, but that “before we enter the referendum committee, the parliament must be reactivated and that barriers should not be put in the way of the parliament.”

“The majority of the leadership convened yesterday and decided that anyone who attends the referendum committee without reactivating the parliament, he will represent himself and will not be the representative of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan,” Sangawi added.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has been invited to be represented by Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani of the KDP, and his deputy Qubad Talabani of the PUK, and Kirkuk Governor Najmaldin Karim, also a PUK member.

Talabani and Karim attend the meeting in their capacity as government officials.

The PUK was instrumental, along the KDP, in deciding September 25 for the vote.

 

Hemin Hawrami, senior assistant to President Barzani, twitted Saturday that today's meeting, first since its foundation, will discuss "practical steps" and preparations. A photo released by him shows Talabani and Karim sitting next to President Barzani. 

 


The committee was formed on June 7 at a meeting between the majority of the parties in the Kurdistan Region chaired by President Barzani. Gorran Movement and the Islamic Group (Komal) have long refused to attend meetings related to the referendum.

The three parties boycotting the meeting today collectively have 48 seats in the Kurdish legislature.

The KDP with 38 seats, the Islamic Union of Kurdistan (KIU) with 10 seats, and a number of smaller parties as well as the minority parties who attend the meeting, collectively hold 63 seats. 

The KDP has so far remained adamant that the referendum does not need the approval of the parliament. 

Sangawi also touched upon the controversy regarding President Barzani’s term in office which ended in 2013 and has since been extended twice, first by an act in parliament, and then a Kurdish court. Some, including Gorran, consider the second extension as illegal and Barzani’s position illegitimate. 

“I hope that his excellency Mr Masoud [Barzani] too thinks more carefully about this issue. I hope that he will give up his hard line," Sangawi said of President Barzani-KDP’s insistence that the parliament speaker from the Gorran party should resign from position as a condition to reopen the legislature.

"Though it is a fact that legally he is not the president of the Region, he is practicing [the powers] of the president of the Region,”  Sangawi said about President Barzani. 

All attempts to reactivate the parliament has so far failed, including a joint offer from the KDP and PUK on June 13, on the condition that the present chief of staff, including the parliament speaker, resign after the first session.

Komal and Gorran turned down the offer, saying that they do not accept any conditions attached to any initiatives aimed at reopening the parliament.

The Kurdish parliament has not convened since October 2015 when the speaker Yousif Mohammed, a Gorran party member, was barred from returning to the capital.

The KDP accused Gorran of orchestrating the violent protests in several towns of Sulaimani province that led to the death of KDP members and torching its offices. Gorran denied the accusations. 

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KURISH INDEPENDENCE | 8/7/2017
Talabani going to Iran, his PUK and Gorran boicotting the independence referendum; all signes of shere treason .The Kurdish Nation does not need the greedy and treatiourous political chieftains ; the true and brave Kurds will go confident and hopeful to vote their independence on 25 September 2017. LONG LIVE INDEPENDENT KURDISTAN .
SHAME ON TRAITORS | 8/7/2017
PUK / GORRAN/Talabni want to derail the Kurdish independence , but they will fail . SHAME ON TRAIRORS
Publish Me Fam | 8/7/2017
Dont you Iraqi Kurds see that all of this has become a political game ?? No such thing as independence will happen haha
Kajik | 8/7/2017
PUK will loose the support they have left. The little support that they currently enjoy comes from some the PUK peshmerga. That they now are putting themselves on the same verge of political collapse as the loosing parties Gorran and Komal. This will surely be reflected in November elections. Frankly I don't blame PUK for making these wrongful decisions. Because this party is made up of former strong peshmerga men that has no clue or idea of politics. Today's PUK is making its decisions on what is advertised by Sully belly dancers on Facebook. 80% of sully people wants independence, if PUK have leaned anything of the decades of populists politics they have been implementing , they should now that this independence is popular, but apparently they don't even see that. What a joke. Kosret should be ashamed, sitting in high profile meeting, setting dates and later going back on them. Does anybody really believe that Baghdad will make Kurdish life's more secure and richer? By the way, a referendum is an question one ask the people (one can put any question in to a referendum. It's a question to the people. You don't need an parliament approval to ask the people an question). But I guess PUK hasn't reached that page in the "book of basic politics for children".
Kajik | 8/7/2017
PUK will loose the support they have left. The little support that they currently enjoy comes from some the PUK peshmerga. That they now are putting themselves on the same verge of political collapse as the loosing parties Gorran and Komal. This will surely be reflected in November elections. Frankly I don't blame PUK for making these wrongful decisions. Because this party is made up of former strong peshmerga men that has no clue or idea of politics. Today's PUK is making its decisions on what is advertised by Sully belly dancers on Facebook. 80% of sully people wants independence, if PUK have leaned anything of the decades of populists politics they have been implementing , they should now that this independence is popular, but apparently they don't even see that. What a joke. Kosret should be ashamed, sitting in high profile meeting, setting dates and later going back on them. Does anybody really believe that Baghdad will make Kurdish life's more secure and richer? By the way, a referendum is an question one ask the people (one can put any question in to a referendum. It's a question to the people. You don't need an parliament approval to ask the people an question). But I guess PUK hasn't reached that page in the "book of basic politics for children".

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