Rudaw file photo of leaders from five main Kurdish parties meeting in Erbil, September 13, 2015.
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region—Political parties in the Kurdistan Region have responded positively to a call by President Masoud Barzani to resolve differences and reactivate the regional parliament that has been dysfunctional for more than a year.
“Barzani’s initiative opened the door to talks and threw the ball back into the court of Kurdistan Region’s political groups,” said Shwan Rabar, the spokesperson for the Islamic League (Komal) decision-making council.
Rabar believes that Barzani as president and his Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) were in a position to help resolve the tensions if they took practical steps in this direction. He further suggested Barzani should formally invite leaders of all parties to a high-level meeting if he wants to end the deadlock.
President Barzani said in an official statement on Sunday: “The solution to the political crisis of the region is that the (political) parties begin discussions and elect a new speaker for the parliament. The parties should also reach agreement on establishing a new government and appoint somebody for the region’s presidency until elections take place,”
KDP’s former ally and partner in government, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) also welcomed Barzani’s call and hoped that theirs and other parties will heed the initiative.
PUK’s second-in-command Kosrat Rasul Ali, said that in this difficult situation of Kurdistan Barzani’s initiative had opened a good door on solving Kurdistan Region’s political problems and “if wisely put into action good steps could be taken to solve the economy and people’s living conditions,”
Rasul urged all members and leaders of the PUK to support Barzani’s call and be a force for good.
Shalaw Ali Askari, spokesperson for PUK’s decision center said Barzani’s message had much in common with what other parties have long been demanding.
“I see his [Barzani’s] message as very positive because it contains all the demands of the other parties and not much different from our statements and calls,” Askari told Rudaw.
Mahmoud Sangawi, a veteran military figure in the PUK said that people and his party alike should answer Barzani’s call.
“I ask all the parties not to throw hurdles before this call, to go meet with Mr. Barzani and find a solution,” Sangawi said.
Officials of the Kurdistan Islamic Union said they welcomed Barzani’s initiative and hoped it would be followed by action.
“We think Mr. Barzani’s message is a positive step in the right direction and we hope it becomes a start for solutions to all of Kurdistan Region’s issues and is followed by action.”