Members and followers of Gorran hold pictures of their leader Nawshirwan Mustafa on the day of his burial in Sulaimani city, May 2017. Photo by Sartip Othman
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region— The Change Movement (Gorran) is hoping to have chosen a new leader by the end of next week which marks the party’s foundation anniversary and two candidates have been lined up for the post, officials say.
Qadir Haji Ali, age 62 and Omar Sayid Ali, 72, are in line to be elected as head of Gorran and replace the founder Nawshirwan Mustafa who died in May after a long battle with cancer.
We have set on July 25 for a meeting of party leaders and according to our charter we will elect members of the main chamber and a new leader, Awat Sheikh Janab, a Gorran official told Rudaw.
July 25 is the day Gorran ran in Kurdistan Region’s parliamentary elections of 2009 and is therefore marked as the group’s foundation date.
The chamber has seven members, including the leader who run the party and its various branches.
Rudaw has learned that no one within Gorran has expressed a desire or his/her candidacy to become party leader and all eyes have for a while been on two aforementioned veteran officials to fill in the post.
Omar Sayid Ali has headed most of his party’s negotiations and acted in Mustafa’s place even when he was alive.
When Mustafa was seeking medical treatment in London he had given the power of attorney to Sayid Ali to run most Gorran affairs on his behalf.
For his part, Qadir Haji Ali has been the main figure behind Gorran’s media campaigns and political strategy especially after the founder fell ill and became absent from scene.
A well placed source says that due to his age, Sayid Ali has seniority within Gorran and has a softer approach to things whereas Haji Ali is more popular among the party’s young followers.