The New Generation Movement’s leadership was recently accused of turned the party into a family-run business.
“New Generation has been shifted from a political movement different from the dominant political model into a political band in which all of its institutions and the important decision-making bodies have been marginalized,” read a recent statement from the party’s Supreme Council and two prominent members of the Iraqi parliament, Rabun Maroof and Sarkawt Shamsulddin.
New Generation “no longer enjoys collective decision making,” they complained in the letter published Sunday.
Four New Generation lawmakers in the Kurdistan Region parliament released their own statement in support of their colleagues in Baghdad.
New Generation leader Shaswar Abdulwahid responded in a post on Instagram: “Be certain that honesty, good morals and good intentions will prevail. The society considers cowardice and people selling themselves the most valueless.”
The spat escalated further on Wednesday when Shadi Nawzad, a female New Generation MP in the Kurdistan parliament, told a press conference outside the legislature that Abdulwahid is the ringleader of a group exploiting the party for business gain and blackmailing party members including MPs.
“What is happening is some bands are working in the name of politics. But they are not the New Generation Movement. We are the New Generation Movement and we created the Movement,” Nawzad said.
“Shaswar Abdulwahid’s band cannot in any way scare or stop us.”
She said they were stunned by Abdulwahid’s response to criticism from the party ranks.
“We were shocked by the response we got to the statement and the threats made against us by this band,” Nawzad said.
She alleged this group blackmailed her by text message, threatening to circulate nude videos of her.
“I received a text message a few hours before publishing the statement by the faction in the Kurdistan Region. Some other faction members have also received similar messages. In the text, there is a tampered video and some photos have been sent to me. It says: wait for the publication of your nude films too,” Nawzad said.
“Leaders of this movement including Supreme Council and faction members are being threatened with the publication of tampered videos of their private lives,” she added.
She also claimed the party had installed concealed cameras in places where party members had stayed while taking part in party events.
“Some very respected people from abroad and other cities came to Sulaimani to take part in party workshops and meetings. They stayed in German Village apartments and Chavi Land cabins. Now members are being threatened along with those who issued the statement that hidden cameras were installed in these cabins and flats for them. That is, their private lives are being threatened,” she said.
But she vowed to stand up to these threats and said the critics won’t be silenced.
“We reassure you we will continue until the fall of this authority under which people like this grew up,” Nawzad said. “I will not be silent. As a pure girl, I will take this letter to the court and file a lawsuit against Shaswar Abdulwahid soon.”
Abdulwahid is yet to comment on the allegations.