Gorran's newly elected leader Omar Ali [R] and Adham Barzani, from the Kurdistan Democratic Party, shake hands as a KDP delegation visited Gorran's headquarters in Sulaimani to congratulate Ali's election as party's leader in July 2017. File photo:Rudaw/Sartip Othman
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – Gorran Movement has officially called on the Kurdistan leadership to postpone the independence referendum until the “right time and conditions” emerge. In a statement issued on Saturday, the party also said they are ready to have direct talks with other parties, including the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
Gorran said the current arrangement for holding the referendum is illegal, arguing that the parliament is the right institution to call for the vote when the time is right.
“The declaration and the foundation of the independent state of Kurdistan is the objective of all the people of Kurdistan and Gorran Movement... but the decision to hold the referendum on September 25, 2017 was made without legal, proper political and economic, security and social preparations, especially the issue of the Kurdistani areas [disputed areas]. That is why it is necessary that this issue be postponed until the right time and conditions and be presented to the parliament of Kurdistan,” Gorran’s statement read.
The statement added that the Kurdistan parliament should also discuss the issue of the presidency law that has been at the center of disagreements between the two parties.
The statement came after a long meeting of the party’s leadership, headed by party leader Omar Ali.
Gorran said the party would take the path of dialogue to resolve outstanding issues between it and other Kurdish parties.
A Gorran official had told Rudaw earlier that they have prepared a package to be discussed with the KDP.
The statement said the parliament of Kurdistan should be “normalized” following an agreement between the political parties whose main task would be to “amend the law of the Kurdistan presidency” and implement the parliamentary system.
Addressing other issues, the statement said the Kurdistan government should cancel the delayed-salary system by which public servants receive only part of their wages, calling the system that was introduced by the government as a measure to deal with the ongoing financial crisis “illegal.”
Another point addressed by Gorran was oil and gas. The party called for “transparency” and the creation of an oil and gas fund per a law that was passed by the parliament in 2015.
The KDP and Gorran are the two largest parties in the Kurdistan Region’s parliament.
Independence referendum is a secondary issue between Gorran and KDP- Rudaw's Osamah Golpy
The main issue for Gorran is not the fact that the parliament is closed for about two years or that the time or circumstances are not right for an independence referendum. It all rather comes down to one central issue: the issue of the Kurdish presidency.
Gorran is for a parliamentary system, and has been very clear that the term of Kurdish president Masoud Barzani has ended four years ago. President Barzani himself has acknowledged the fact and said that he will not run in the next elections set for November 1.
Bills passed by the Kurdish parliament has to be signed into law by the president, and knowing that Gorran considers Barzani’s term expired and therefore illegitimate, the party has refused to seek his signature.
So even if the Kurdish parliament is reactivated and passes a law backing the referendum, nothing will have been solved if the two do not agree on the president and his authority to sign the law.
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – Gorran’s leadership have decided to hold direct talks with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) with a focus on the reactivation of the Kurdistan parliament and the issue of the independence referendum, a party official told Rudaw.
Sherwan Ibrahim, a member of the party’s National Council that is equivalent to a politburo office, said the Council reached the decision after a long meeting that lasted more than seven hours.
The party has prepared a political package to discuss with the KDP, he said. If the KDP agrees to their terms, Gorran is ready to activate the parliament with other parties and pass a law to call for the independence referendum.
He added that they propose the referendum be postponed until the Kurdistani parties reach “national consensus.”
President Masoud Barzani, who is from the KDP, has said that the date of the referendum is not up for debate.
Gorran is expected to release a statement shortly.
The party’s General Assembly, the second-highest institution of the party, announced on Thursday that it's ready to enter into direct talks with the KDP for the sake of “public interest.”
Gorran have so far refused to attend any of the meetings related to the referendum, saying that the vote must have a mandate from the parliament.
The KDP said last month that it dropped preconditions it held to reactivating the parliament, namely removing parliamentary speaker and Gorran member Yousif Mohammed from his post and banning discussions on the position of the presidency.
Relations between the KDP and Gorran deteriorated in October 2015, mainly over the term of President Barzani, which expired in August but was extended in a controversial court ruling. The KDP blocked the parliament and sacked Gorran ministers from the cabinet.