The Tsunami is Coming

Kurdish people expects radical changes from May election - By Dana Newzer Ali
Kurdish Writer and Journalist

This year, 2009, can fairly be called the year of change. It is really the year of the great transformations. At its early beginnings, the disaster-president, George W. Bush, left white house for Barak Obama, the black president who promised to work for a whiter world. Obama’s being elected as the President of the United States of America was the opening for the expected major change which will happen during this year. Iran, Israel, Afghanistan, Germany, South Africa, Turkey saw or will see different elections. Many of them will go for the second and the third time will use the ballots. Iraq is one of those countries which will see three national and local elections during 2009. Iraqi Kurdistan’s parliamentary elections are expected to be held less than three months from now. This election will be the third election which will happen in the region since 1991, after the famous uprising, which led to the end of Saddam’s political and military existence.

The importance of the expected elections is that there a consensus in the intellectual and political forums that we need change and there is a common sense of the necessity of the a radical change in every aspect of the life in this region, and this is can not be done without having pure, democratic and free elections. The political parties, independent politicians, intellectuals, even the young people who are allowed for the first time to candidate themselves, are preparing themselves for the coming elections. The strange point here is that everyone expects something unusual from the May elections. Some political groups have already decided to enter the election under the motto of the change. All of these signs tell one and only one thing: A noticeable change will happen during the elections.

By taking a quick look at the political, social. Economical, and educational conditions, we can understand why the people want and expect a real change from the next elections. There is a major failure in the different areas of the life here. PUK and PDK have been in power for more than 18 years, invading all the free spaces in the life here. They have been manipulating every possible natural and humanitarian resource for their partial and narrow interests. Systematic corruption, political failure in the issues regarding Kirkuk and other controversial places, a dangerous frustration among the youth because of the unequal job opportunities, shifting backward in the human rights are and reports of the physical abuse in the Kurdish prisons,  and many other causes make people wait for a democratic messiah to rescue them.

There are many political parties, independent politicians and intellectuals who demonstrate themselves as the expected messiah. One of this election’s surprises will be the participation of Newshirwan Mustafa, the former PUK general secretary deputy. Newshirwan Mustafa’s reformist views are promising. Many political monitors believe that if he attends the election with his whole political power, he will cause a dramatic change in the political scene of the region. The majority of Newshirwan’s supporters are the members of the PUK who have the same political views as Newshirwan known as the reform wing. Last month, the resignation of 5 of PUK leaders caused an earthquake in the political medium, the earthquake which Talabani and Barzani didn’t let it cause the Tsunami. Political experts believe that Newshirwan will not take those political steps which may lead to an anonymous political future. He will attend the elections, but with a list of intellectuals, writer and public figures so as not to make PUK and PDK frightened.  There are some other independent politicians and intellectuals who see this election as an opportunity to introduce themselves to the people and record a kind of political triumph. Rebwar Fatah, the Kurdish write and intellectual is one of them. The other wing of the opposition, if we could say that, is Kurdistan Islamic Union and its allies. In January, KIU and three other parties presented a report to the people in the region concerning some of the mentioned issues. In the report, they asked President Massoud Barzani to act as a president of a region not only his party, and demanded a radical solution for the problem of corruption. The report was considered to be a precaution from the parties to the general election Salahaddin Muhammad Bahaadin, General Secretary of the KIU said to thousand of his supporters in sulaimani, on the 15th anniversary of KIU that 2009 will be the year of the change. He said, “Ballots are our bullets.”  The possibility of an alliance between these 4 parties was high before being invited by Jalal Talbani and warned, especially the two secularist parties, not to attend such an alliance. It is not clear yet whether they will attend the elections together or separately, but in both conditions, KIU, which is the third political power, is trying to get better results in this election.

All of these preparations, expectations, demands and political changes are signs for the great Tsunami.  It is clear that there is a tsunami ahead, but what is not sure is that whether it is safe or not. PUK and PDK are living with a nightmare now, the nightmare of the general elections. They know that any tsunami even small storm will endanger their authority and make scars in their traditional image. Therefore, they do their best in order to prevent that from happening. PUK is trying to bring Newshirwan Mustafa back, but latter’s refusal seems to be his last decision. PUK and PDK are trying to convince KIU by trebling its budget, giving more political privilege. But there is not an alliance with PUK and PDK on KIU’s agenda at this moment. PDK security forces has began already to arrest some of KIU activists, especially in places like Duhok and Zakho which is counted as the political capital of KDP. PUK and KDP are not ready to give in easily, and it is clear that it is not on their accounts to loose political and economical power and leaves it for the others. They will do anything that can prevent the Tsunami. The question is whether PUK and PDK are smart enough to take lessons from Fatah, which is very similar to them, or they will continue on their 18 years-old policies?


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March 6, 2009
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