New Generation leader Shaswar Abdulwahid Qadir delivers a speech in Duhok, September 12, 2018. Photo: NRT / Facebook
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Shaswar Abdulwahid Qadir, leader of the New Generation Movement, urged voters on Wednesday to try new forces and new faces in the September 30 election to punish the ruling parties for the “failed policies of the last 27 years”.
“Dear citizens, most of the countries that are developed, and whose people lead a good life, reached this day through trying new forces and new faces,” Qadir said, in a campaign video broadcast on NRT, a media channel he founded in 2010.
“Now, for the September 30 elections of the Kurdistan Region, we give you promises that you should 100 percent be sure we will keep.”
“That is why it is necessary for you as a citizen to at least try a new force for once,” Qadir added.
New Generation, which officially launched at the start of 2018, opposed the Kurdistan independence referendum in September 2017, when Qadir launched the “No for Now” campaign.
He led an anti-establishment campaign for Iraq’s May 12 election, exceeding expectations to win four seats.
“It isn’t possible that you as a citizen vest your confidence again into those with failed policies of the last 27 years, of those who got Kurdistan into the situation it is in today,” Qadir said.
Qadir raised the issue again during a campaign event with young supporters in Duhok on Wednesday.
"Kurdish political parties, in the last 70 years, have always tried to sow discord between the cities. They have tried to sow the seeds of hate instead of love, for us to be rivals for them to prolong their existence within that rivalry between the people.”
“We are proud that today there is a movement around which people, regardless of their colour, age, or sex [can rally],” he said.
“I ask the people of Kurdistan Region to look at the past, and then decide whom to vote for in this election.”
“We shouldn’t forget all the plight and difficulties brought upon us in the past couple of years,” he added.
Qadir said it takes just 10 minutes to go out and vote to “take our revenge” on those responsible for past failures.
Opposition parties and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) have been lukewarm about the timing of the Kurdistan Region parliamentary election, which the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has strongly advocated.
Only Barham Salih’s Coalition for Democracy and Justice (CDJ) has boycotted the election, citing concerns over the voter register and the likelihood of fraud.
September 30 will be the first Kurdistan Region election since the turbulent closure of parliament and the four-year war against ISIS.