Nawshirwan Mustafa: Political Decision Changed from one Party or two Party System into a Multi-Party System
KNN - Interviewed By Hoshyar Adbullah
Translated from Kurdish into English by Aras Ahmed Mhamad
Concerning the current political situation and the crises that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) facing, the General Coordinator of the Movement for Change (Gorran), Nawshirwan Mustafa, airs the Movement's viewpoint, in an exclusive interview with Kurdish News Network Channel (KNNC)
- There is a claim that Gorran's Media attacks Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), but rarely mentions Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). How would you comment on that?
Nawshirwan Mustafa: This is baseless. We have not attacked anyone. It is true that we criticize. If we criticize anyone, it is because they deserve to be criticized. However, we have taken into consideration the PUK's internal crises thoughtfully. I would like to clarify two points:
First: a year has passed since the absence of Talabani. Talabani is not an ordinary person. Apart from being the Secretary General of the PUK, he is the President of Iraq and has taken over that post from the Kurdish share. More than a year has passed and his post is still empty in this complex situation of Iraq, where there is a very complex relationship between the Kurdistan Region and Baghdad. Talabani's presence at this very moment is more necessary than anytime. Moreover, we have not talked about this very fact because we do not want to create tension with our colleagues in the PUK in a time where we could provoke the matter.
Second: there is no one political party that has as much information as we do about the current internal political problems of the PUK. We could create will-wavering news or could prepare despondent reports. Once again we did not want to break the hearts of our colleagues, so we avoid the topic. So what are our attacks and criticisms on the PUK?
- Previously, you said that you want the next four years to be years of peace. The question is: How would you provide four peaceful years amid all these problems.
Nawshirwan Mustafa: it is true that we asked the next four years to be years of political tranquility, social serenity, economic stability and psychological composure. However, these are not obtained only through waving slogans. They are bound to political, economic and social conditions. Above all, we must reconcile the street with the authorities. We need to create trust between the government and the people of the Kurdistan region. That can be done through turning out citizens rightful demands into a tangible reality. A Party's government must be changed into a People's government. The people of the Kurdistan Region, despite their differences in language, nation, religion, belief, area, gender, party affiliation and political standpoint, must be treated equally.
The right of being a citizen must be the measure for the system of employment in government establishments and giving a piece of land and providing job opportunity. The system of giving salaries must be improved. The income of the region and the Kurdish share of the national budget must be transparent. The incomes of oil and energy must be clear to all the people of the region. In other words, there has to be social justice in the distribution of money, power, and services in different parts of the region and for all people.
- Why is Gorran insisting on holding the Interior Ministry position?
Nawshirwan Mustafa: when the ministerial and other institutions are classified, they are distributed among some packages.
First, packages of internal and external security (Asaysh) forces, which consist of Peshmarga and Interior Ministries.
Second, the economic package which consists of Finance and Natural Resource Ministries.
Third, packages of diplomatic relations of the KRG which consist of Offices of Foreign Relations and KRG's representatives in Iraq and its ambassadors in the capitals of the world.
Fourth, packages of service ministries that include the remaining ministries.
Gorran do not only insist on holding the Interior Ministry position, but have insisted on holding some other posts. That is because Gorran wants to be part of the political decisions of the KRG, that is the reason Gorran insist on holding the positions. If Gorran do not hold a share of those ministerial posts, how can it be part of the political decisions? This not to demean any ministerial post; every ministry has its own importance. Gorran want to take part in each ministry so that it can accomplish its promises and be proud in front of its voters and people of the region.
- Why does Gorran have no saying concerning the delay of the formation of the eighth cabinet of the KRG?
Nawshirwan Mustafa: Indeed, we have. We have talked about the delay in both our outlets and media channels and the meetings with other parties. We really want to sit in the parliament as soon as possible and form the cabinet. Especially in this time of political and economic instability. Gorran were not designated to form the speaker of the parliament and the cabinet, those who were designated to from the cabinet must be criticized.
- So what are the reasons behind the delay?
Nawshirwan Mustafa: the political equation has changed. It has changed from one party or two party systems into a multi-party system. No one political party can form the cabinet. Two political parties or even more can form the cabinet. Every political party has its own program and perspective in forming the cabinet. Finding compromise between different perspectives is not an impossible job, but it is also not easy. Gorran has come first in the largest Province in the Kurdistan region, Slemani, and become second in the region. Gorran want to reflect this change in the political power.
There is a well-known Kurdish proverb: 'Shar Lanaw Shefu Ashti Lanaw Kharman*'. Gorran sides with its voters. Gorran do not want to lose its voter's trust. Gorran protects its voters' demands. The next four years will be years of work in the parliament and government. Gorran do not want to be part of a weak government and regret it shortly afterwards. Gorran do not want to be part of an opposition front and regret it after a short period. Gorran want to take the opportunities it has so that whatever decisions are made, they can hold responsibility.
*This proverb is meant to describe a situation or scenario where two people are part of a process or mission but one of them is not serious while the other feels responsible and carries out the job very well. When the mission is accomplished, the indifferent person asks for its share and claims that he too was doing well.