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Protests continue across Kurdistan region

By Rudaw 8/10/2015
Protesters in Sulaimani gather outside meeting of political parties . Photo: Rudaw.
Protesters in Sulaimani gather outside meeting of political parties . Photo: Rudaw.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in cities across the Kurdistan region to protest delayed salaries and the stalemate between Kurdish political parties that has left the regional government without an official president for since July.

At the biggest protest site in Suliamani, Rudaw's Saman Basharty witnessed clashes between the police and protesters who had gathered in front of of the Shary Juan Hotel where the five major Kurdish political parties were holding a meeting.

The meeting, held between representatives of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Change Movement, Kurdistan Islamic Union and the Kurdistan Islamic League, was the latest in a series of unsuccessful attempts to find agreement over the presidency of Masoud Barzani.

Dozens of protesters held demonstrations in Erbil and Halabja. In Erbil, a medical official for Rizgari hospital said doctors who have not been paid would continue to help patients, but stressed that the government needs to know the doctors and other workers need their salaries.

On Tuesday, hundreds of teachers took to the streets in Sulaimani and Erbil after declaring a week-long strike earlier this month over delayed salaries. Representatives of the protesting teachers told Rudaw they refused to go back to work before receiving their full salaries, which have been withheld since July. 

In response, the Kurdistan Regional Government's finance minister said the teachers would be paid on Monday. 

The KRG says the ongoing war with ISIS militants, the influx of over 1.3 million refugees and Baghdad’s freezing of the KRG budget since February last year have coupled with falling oil prices to contribute to the unprecedented crisis.

Barzani’s KDP has asked for an extension to his presidency, citing the war with ISIS and the grinding economic crisis. The iconic Kurdish leader has been president since 2005, an extension would be his second since 2013.

The issue has polarized political parties in the region's already factional parliament.


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USA | 8/10/2015
Keep on protesting till they give everyone their salaries!!! Where is the money going huh? Everyday they say we sold more than million gallons of oil and shit so where does that money end up? Huh? All those leaders are thief that's where the money is all their banks are full with people money?? I hope u guys get ur money and Kurdistan will be like the years in the 90s when people starved for a $1.00
Sherwan Kurdistan | 8/10/2015
Barzani is our life, our heart, our hope, our future.... these organizing the protests are Sheiks, Hajjis, followers of mohammed and slaves of Saudi Arabia.... If you love Arabs that much why don't you go to any of the thousands arab/muslim countries
United Kurdistan | 8/10/2015
Barzani is just another autocrat like Assad. Barzani has never done anything for the Kurdish people. True or false: did Barzani work with Saddam to kill Kurds? TRUE!!! Does Barzani work with Turks who kill Turks? TRUE!!! Sherwani Kurdistan sounds like Dasko Sherwani of the PDK in Amrika. Why do these PDK and PUK politicians take all the money and never do anything? They never even fight. It's a joke.
azad | 9/10/2015
I liked Barzani before and i am from a powerful kurdish clan, but we support kurds and kurdiyati. We could be theifs like them but choose to be with PKK and we sacrified alot of people, even in Kobane. We give alot of money and support to PKK as we should, but when my people said that Barzani has to go because he is supporting arabs against kurds and why did they sell out Shingal. I understand now.
KPKK | 9/10/2015
Azad@ death to PKK terrorist. PKK is a drugdeal and criminal organization that works for ayatolahs not kurds

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