The legitimate civil disobedience in Southern Kurdistan should be answered! - By Dlshad Amin

Civil disobedience is commonly referred to as the refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government.” What we are witnessing in Southern Kurdistan falls in the civil disobedience category as the  public continues to protest without due regard to the demonstration laws. People refuse to obey the government’s commands to stay indoors during curfew which is imposed upon the City of Sulaimani from sunrise to sunset. Thus it is national civil disobedience and the ruling parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) have not  learned from the recent case in Egypt, Tunisia and other neighboring countries in the Middle East.

It is important that the ruling parties grasp the realities surrounding them, especially the (KDP).  The protesters demands are very legitimate. They are against corruption and nepotism while demanding freedom of association, freedom of assembly and also freedom of press. Kurdistan is run by an oligarchy regime dominated by the families of  Talabani and Barzani. Their inner circle and cronies control almost everything in Southern Kurdistan including the national budget of the Kurdistan region, almost all the businesses in Kurdistan, the Peshmarga forces, all the security apparatus known as Asayish, and Intelligent service are run by the two groups. .

I believe the last election was infested with fraud, It is important for the KDP and PUK to recognize that despite having won the last election and created a coalition government together with PUK, in the eyes of many, they lack the legitimacy to govern. To keep the peace, neither the opposition parties nor the public demanded a re-election at the time. Whereas now, when almost all of the Middle East is in revolutionary mood both the opposition and the public in Southern Kurdistan felt it is the time to demand justice for their grievances. The ruling parties should recognize that the demonstrators are fighting for a rightful cause and not for personal gains; therefore the KDP and PUK should implement radical reforms that are desparately needed in the region. Participation in governance from the different political parties is needed to calm the current situation and to eliminate such future events, and for the implementation of that, KDP and PUK need to consider at least the following eight points:  

  • Both the PUK and KDP intelligence service need to be integrated, and according to the seats in the Kurdistan parliament all the political groups should have their fair share allocated in the unified national intelligence service.
  • All the political parties that have won seats in the Kurdistan Parliament need to be represented in all of the government agencies: - Asayish, Police, Peshmarga force or National Guard, Kurdistan foreign representations, court of law, specialist of ministries like consultants, the media, and the national election committee and so on.
  • Based on the seats won by political parties in the Kurdistan parliament all political groups should be entitled to their fair share of the budget.
  • The ministries that were allocated to Gorran in Baghdad, and that PUK and PDK forcefully took away from Gorran should be re-granted to Gorran.
  • All the political prisoners should be acknowledged and accounted for; and an independent body be created to investigate all the political prisoners that are missing.
  • It is obvious that corruption is on the rise in Kurdistan, an independent body should be formed to investigate the deep rooted corruption; all members of the ruling parties and opposition parties should be investigated, and convicted individuals should be punished according to law of the land.
  • It is obvious that there are a great number of criminals in most if not all the Kurdish political parties in Iraqi Kurdistan, an independent body should be formed to investigate the crimes, abuse of power by politicians, and all the convicted individuals should be punished according to the law of the land.
  • Any issue(s) that is not raised should be resolved through dialogue and investigation.


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February 24, 2011
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