Supporters of the Kurdish Gorran Movement mourn the death of the founder of the party Nawshirwan Mustafa in Sulaimani. He passed out aged 73 after a long battle with illness. Photo:Rudaw/Sartip Othman.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region— The opposition Change Movement or Gorran, whose influential leader Nawshirwan Mustafa passed away on Friday, has no plans to reunify with the parent party Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), a senior Gorran official told Rudaw Saturday.
Gorran, a splinter group which officially broke away from the PUK in 2009 and steadily grew larger than its parent party, holds 24 seats in the regional parliament.
In public announcements since the death of Mustafa, the PUK has called for unification with Gorran and said the two groups have “shared history and struggle.”
“We believe that we have shared history and struggle together. We have more in common than issues that divide us and Gorran has had the same position in regard to moving closer to us,” said PUK spokesperson Saturday after laying Mustafa to rest in his hometown of Sulaimani.
Mustafa,73, had been ill for long periods since late 2013, and had increasingly sought medical treatment abroad in the United Kingdom where he was hospitalised twice last year.
Gorran lawmaker Raboun Maarouf told Rudaw his party had no plans for unification with any political party and said Gorran will continue with its own oppositional agenda until next general elections, tentatively set for the end of this year.
“What we expect from the PUK is the implementation of the political deal between us. We believe that the deal will prevent undemocratic traditions to take root in the Kurdistan Region,” Maarouf said referring to last year’s all-encompassing political pact between the two groups.
If fully implemented, the deal would most notably allow PUK and Gorran to enter general elections on a joint ballot and consequently increase their chances to form the next Kurdish cabinet and diminish the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) dominance over government bodies which it has had since the foundation of the Kurdish government in 1992.
“We really hope that the PUK comes forward and takes steps in executing the deal in force,” Maarouf said. “After all, the unification talk is not on our agenda, and frankly, it will never be,” he added.