PUK and Gorran officials while signing a historic agreement in Sulaimani, with PUK leader Jalal Talabani seated in between on 17 May 2016. File photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region--The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Change Movement (Gorran) have both been rethinking a strategic alliance they signed last year and each has been accusing the other of failing to honor and implement the agreement.
The two parties signed the 25-article pact in the presence of the PUK leader Jalal Talabani and Gorran’s leader Nawshirwan Mustafa in the PUK’s main office in Dabashan on May 17, 2016. One year since the signing of the pact, Gorran blames the PUK for not honoring the agreement.
Leaders of both parties met in Sulaimani last week and released a short statement saying: “The content of the agreement between the two parties was discussed in the meeting.”
“The responsibility for not implementing the pact lies with the PUK,” Ismael Nameq, coordinator of Gorran’s law office and member of the PUK-Gorran joint committee formed to oversee the implementation of the alliance, told Rudaw.
“They have neither expressed regret nor have they said they won’t be implementing it. Gorran party expects the PUK to commit and implement the agreement,” Nameeq said.
The disagreements and doubt over the pact came to the surface earlier this month over the post of Sulaimani’s governorship which was supposed to be rotated between a PUK and a Gorran governor.
“Except for [the article] being published in the media, none of the other 24 articles has been implemented by the PUK.” Qadir Haji Ali, a key Gorran official, said in an interview with his party’s media.
“After the agreement was signed, some big problems were created within the PUK to sabotage the alliance. We have no doubt the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) was involved in the creation of these problems, too,” Haji Ali added.
Fareed Asasard, a member of the PUK leadership believes that the pact with Gorran was flawed from the outset.
“There were problems with the agreement from the beginning as we in the leadership didn’t collectively approve it,” he said. “Rather, the majority in the leadership approved it. Some of our colleagues didn’t support it. The non-implementation of the agreement is therefore related to the internal problems of the PUK, rather than Gorran.”
Abdulrahman Muhandis, member of Gorran’s National Assembly thought that politically, the pact with the PUK has worked, and it remains for the part on power-sharing to be put into practice.
“If the political alliance is implemented, the agreement on sharing the positions will be implemented too,” he told Rudaw. “The ball is now in the PUK’s court. However, the Gorran party will not be waiting for the implementation of this pact forever. They should make their final decision, have willpower and respect their signature. It’s inappropriate for them to say something to us, and something else to the KDP.”
Before this alliance, the PUK and Gorran signed an agreement on December 9, 2014 on power sharing in the provincse of Sulaimani and Halabja. Gorran says they have been given only 33 positions out of 848 government posts in these two provinces, while the agreement entitles them to 224 posts.
“The alliance is at a crossroads: implementing or revoking it. The nature of the agreement is such that it cannot be amended,” PUK’s Asasard believes.