Faraidon Abdulqadir, former PUK politburo member and prominent politician. Photo: Rudaw video
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region— The death of veteran opposition leader Nawshirwan Mustafa will further jeopardise a fragile political deal between his Change Movement (Gorran) and the dominant Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, according to prominent Kurdish politician Faridon Abdulqadir who also predicts leadership crisis for Gorran after Mustafa.
Mustafa, who was 73, was the principal leader of the fragmented opposition in the Kurdistan Region.
The PUK and Gorran signed a pact in May last year aimed at closer cooperation between the two parties which could also help them enter general elections on a joint ballot.
Both parliamentary and presidential votes in Kurdistan Region are scheduled to take place simultaneously on November 6. The elections come amid continued gridlock in the parliament and bitter political feuds among the major factions.
“Gorran suffers from immense and serious problems as the party has no one to replace the charismatic Nawshirwan Mustafa,” said Abdulqadir who was senior member of the PUK politburo.
“We have seen similar situation in the past. We saw despair within PUK in the absence of (PUK leader) Jalal Talabani which the party still struggles to recover from,” Abdulqadir said.
Talabani, 85, suffered a serious brain stroke in late 2012 and has virtually retired from public duties since then, although he is officially the leader of the PUK.
“Both parties share the same problematic, which is the leadership. Perhaps if they reunify, they will be able to single out someone as their leader,” Abdulqadir added.
Gorran, which holds 24 seats in the regional parliament, broke away from the PUK in 2009.
A new leader could be elected at an extraordinary congress which the party has so far not announced.