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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Gorran believes in Kurdish independence, but deems referendum 'illegal'

By Rudaw 10/6/2017
Gorran spokesman Shorsh Haji reads a statement in Sulaimani on June 10, 2017. Photo: Rudaw TV
Gorran spokesman Shorsh Haji reads a statement in Sulaimani on June 10, 2017. Photo: Rudaw TV
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – The Change Movement (Gorran) has stated that it believes in the formation of an independent state of Kurdistan but that holding the referendum currently set by some Kurdish parties and the Kurdish government for September is “illegal.”
 
The party’s national council held its first meeting in Sulaimani after the death of its influential leader Nawshirwan Mustafa on May 19 following a long battle with illness.
 
Gorran or Change has said that they are continuing the path of the late leader who since his early youth until his death struggled in “bringing about the base and principles of founding and declaring the independent state of Kurdistan,” Shorsh Haji, Goran's spokesperson said as he read a written statement, adding that such Mustafa envisioned a reformed Kurdistan.
 
The party refused to attend a meeting on Wednesday held by the Kurdish President Masoud Barzani to discuss the issue of the independence referendum. Gorran has set the precondition of reactivating the Kurdish parliament so the legislature can pass a law in this regard.
 

The parliament has not convened since October 2015 after tensions were heightened between Gorran and President Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

 
“The issue of referendum should be the last phase of a comprehensive plan before the declaration of the independent state of Kurdistan,” Haji continued, “but the process, that the Kurdistan Democratic Party and those who play along [with] its tune has begun, is a party-based and illegal process.”
 
President Barzani, Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, and Deputy PM Qubad Talabani convened a meeting in Erbil last week with some political parties, including the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) with whom Gorran has had an alliance agreement with since last year, and the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), who shared with Gorran a parliamentary opposition to the ruling KDP-PUK government from 2009 until 2013.
 
During the meeting September 25 was chosen as a day for the Kurdistan Region and its outlying territories to hold referendum on whether to stay with Iraq or form an independent Kurdish state.
 
The Gorran statement is as much directed against the PUK and the KIU as it is against the KDP. It would have wanted the two parties to also set a precondition for a reactivated parliament prior to any dates being set for the referendum. 
 

Gorran, the second-largest party with 24 seats in the Kurdish parliament, and the Islamic League (Komal) with six seats, both members of the coalition government headed by the KDP, boycotted the meeting. 

 
The parliament speaker Yousif Mohammed, a Gorran member, has been barred from returning to the parliament headquarters in Erbil since October 2015 after tensions rose between Gorran and the KDP.
 
Relations between the KDP and Gorran deteriorated in October 2015 when the KDP sacked Gorran ministers and its speaker of parliament Yousif Mohammed who took office after a deal with the KDP following the inconclusive elections in 2013, after days of demonstrations that resulted in the death of several KDP members.
 
The KDP accused Gorran of orchestrating the riots. Gorran denied the accusations. 
 
The KDP also sacked the Gorran ministers, including the Peshmerga and the Finances, in October that year.
 
“Neither this issue, nor any other factor should be used as justification to postpone or cancel conducting the general elections on time,” Gorran's statement added.
 
Last week, President Barzani officially directed the Region’s election body to hold the presidential and parliamentary elections “on time,” expected to be held on November 6, following the referendum.
 
Commenting on a recent contract signed between Erbil and the Russian giant oil firm Rosneft, the party said that the issue of referendum should not be used to pass this and other “non-transparent” contracts made in the oil sector that it claimed has left the Region with a “big debt.”
 
The debt, the statement said, has driven the lives of people to a “dangerous level.”
 
Gorran also said that it is their priority to improve the living conditions of the people of Kurdistan in light of the ongoing financial crisis caused primarily by a drop in oil prices for the oil-dependent Region, the budget cut by the central government in Baghdad since early 2014, and the war against the ISIS group and the subsequent influx of refugees who sought refuge in the relative safety of the Kurdish Region.

Comments

 
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Muraz Adzhoev | 10/6/2017
The referendum is the most legitimate democratic way to make national decisions, in particular the self-determined sovereign decision of the People on independence from already deadly failed Iraqi Arab federation. Gorran-KIG's preconditions are absolutely illegal, useless and unreasonable. The next upcoming parliamentary elections will be held in independent democratic and secular Kurdistan.
| 10/6/2017
There is a big business deal that the parties that agreed to hold the referendum benefit from. All after the Rosneft deal. Regardless of what is legal or not, they are going with the "De-facto" story which is illegal and will cost the Kurdish people and nation greatly. Lets hope that the Kurdish people will put those corrupt so called leaders in their place, once they are called to vote.
Qazî | 10/6/2017
I am not a supporter of the KDP but what Gorran does is not acceptable for a Kurdish patriot! Every Kurd must vote yes and support the referendum. This is a national matter, not a party's! Every no or boycott is a suppot for Iraq (mercenaries of the terrorist mullah regime)! Do you have forgotten all the martyrs we gave ever since and especially the last three years?
kurt basar | 10/6/2017
Very stupid comment, he is encouraging enemies of the Kurd's by his negative comments at this historical times where Kurd's needed unity most. This is the era for 40 millions of the Kurd's "to be or not to be", and every Kurd should & must support Mr. Barzani without any precondition at this important task, which is an independent & sovereign Kurdistan.
Hejar | 10/6/2017
This anti-Kurdish statement alone should be enough for supporters of this treacherous party to vote them out of office. This is not the first time they have stood with Kurdish enemies. How is anyone voting for these people? In any other advanced country such talk would be their dissolution.
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Murad | 10/17/2017 9:31:47 AM
Dear Muraz, please look at what happened when Peshmerga abandoned Shingal led Yezidis be butchered by Isis. Therefore, Yezidis took their chance and...
Zem | 10/17/2017 12:45:13 PM
If the Kurds truly wants freedom they first need to hang it´s leaders.
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simple answer, take all us military personal and weapons out of turkey, kick turkey out of nato, and turkey can be friends with Russia, Iran and...
Masque du Furet | 10/17/2017 12:11:24 PM
OTOH, US need Turkey to beat peaceful demonstrators (and policemen) in the centre of Washington.... That makes them feel great again.
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Jinan | 10/17/2017 11:43:32 AM
No Civil WAR. Good man Barzani. There was a stabbing from back from Jashes but keep calm. Shame on them shame shame and shame. I am so surprised...
real Kurd | 10/17/2017 11:50:45 AM
PUK must never sell Kurdistan to enemies again.
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JK | 10/17/2017 11:15:29 AM
We welcome it too because instead of oil Ankara will be getting Shia sperm through the pipelines from Kirkuk so Cheers!
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