The trilateral Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Change Movement (Gorram) meeting at PUK politburo in Erbil on September 12, 2017. Photo: Rudaw video
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Change Movement (Gorran) has agreed in principle on reactivating the parliament with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) after a “historical” trilateral meeting on Tuesday, but the three will have one final meeting Wednesday or Thursday at the latest to finalize a deal, a senior PUK official announced in a press conference on behalf of the three parties following their meeting in Erbil.
The three discussed the issue of the suspended parliament, the Kurdish independence referendum, and the PUK's seven-point project that aims to end a two-year political stalemate in the Kurdistan Region.
The details about the seven points proposed by the PUK and that was signed between it and the PUK are below.
Mala Bakhtiyar, talking on behalf of three parties, said that all the five major Kurdish parties have agreed to the PUK project, meaning that they are all on board to reactivate the parliament on Thursday, September 14.
He detailed the series of talks between Kurdish parties since Friday on the seven points that include reactivating the parliament as well holding the September 25 independence referendum.
“The first party we met with was Gorran, and they agreed to it,” Bakhtiyar said.
“The second party we met with was Komal and they agreed to it. And the third party we met with was the KDP and we signed it. The seven points that we and the KDP signed was discussed in this meeting, too, and it was reiterated that it [the seven points] have also been agreed on by our Gorran brothers, but we have more discussions left on the mechanism and how to implement it, especially Gorran will have more discussion with the two sides that signed the seven points.”
“We held a responsible discussion to have a trilateral agreement between the PUK, Gorran and the KDP,” Bakhtiyar said.
He said that they will have another meeting with Komal later in the day, and then a bilateral meeting between the PUK and KDP.
The PUK official added that Gorran will have a meeting within the next 24 hours so that the party will take its final decision.
He said that the three parties will have the next meeting at Gorran’s headquarters in Sulaimani, to be followed by a press conference.
The seven-point project calls for:
- The reactivation of the
- For the parliament to cancel the
salary-cut system that was introduced by the government in the face of the
financial crisis and to give guarantees to pay back the reduced salaries ever
- To vote on the members of the Oil
and Gas Fund
- To amend the election law so that
the people in the disputed or the Kurdistani areas are also eligible to vote
for their own members in the Kurdistan parliament
- To approve a law for the
- For the parliament to approve
constitutional committee to draft a constitution for “the state of Kurdistan”
- To amend the presidency law.
Hopes are high as KDP, Gorran, PUK meet, hash out parliament issues
Political rivals Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Gorran are meeting in Erbil along with their mutual ally the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), bringing together the three main parties of the Kurdistan Region as they are under pressure to resolve deep-rooted issues less than two weeks ahead of a historic referendum on independence.
Top of the agenda at the meeting is reactivation of the Kurdistan parliament. The majority of Kurdish parties agreed in a weekend meeting of the High Referendum Council to convene the parliament on Thursday, September 14. Gorran and the Kurdistan Islamic Group (Komal) were not part of that decision as they have resisted joining the referendum council before the vote is given a parliamentary mandate.
A flurry of recent meetings has brought the parties closer together after two years of stalemate that paralyzed Kurdistan’s politics after the parliament was shut by KDP in 2015 during a dispute with Gorran.
“Their coming to Erbil is a positive step,” Chinar Saad Abdullah, a KDP politburo member, told Rudaw of Gorran’s participation in Tuesday’s meeting.
Gorran, which has been reluctant to sit at the table without guarantees, wants parliament to resume normal operations and address key pieces of legislation, not just the referendum issue.
A PUK official said that the parliament will have all of its powers without any conditions.
“Parliament will immediately begin with those issues that were before it before the parliament was closed. Nothing is banned,” Saadi Pira said in a press conference on Monday. He was confident that both Gorran and Komal are on board.
KDP insists that Thursday’s session will take place with or without Gorran and Komal.
“Under all circumstances, we are going to hold the session on Thursday,” KDP MP Dana Sofi told Rudaw on Monday.
Eighty of the parliament’s 111 seats have been secured for the Thursday session, according to KDP leadership member Dilshad Shahab speaking before Tuesday’s trilateral meeting.
Gorran’s demands for the parliamentary agenda are reflected in a PUK seven-point project
that will see lawmakers consider the issues of salary cuts imposed as part of austerity measures and the controversial presidency law. On that basis, PUK politburo member Arsalan Bayiz believes Gorran can hold no opposition to reactivating parliament.