April 10, 2011

Thousands of Kurdish protesters demand resignation of the entire regional government - Shenah Abdullah

Like yesterday, the day before, and the month before, today people were gathered in Maidani Azadi to show everyone—friends and foe that they are not quitting and shall continue in their peaceful fight. Like the days before, they chanted, screamed, laughed, read some angry messages and insisted that nothing will stop them from coming back the next day. Today a new memo was read to the protesters, media and the government. It was titled “Maidani Azadi’s Road Map”. The members of the freedom square explain that due to the lack of response from the KRG government, especially the president of Kurdistan, Masud Barzani, to the demands of the protesters, the committee with the help of lawyers, members of the parliament, intellectuals, scholars and different universities and institutions have written a new social and political road map. “If they refuse to listen to us and are unable to come up with a civilized solution, we are willing to show them—point by point how it can be done.

The intro to the road map begins with: The refusal of the president of Southern Kurdistan and his KRG government headed by the two ruling parties, the PUK and the KDP to listen to the demands of the protesters , among them the arrest and prosecution of the killers of innocent protesters and the refusal to realize that we are living in unstable everyday life were people are shot, injured, arrested and beaten, a reality in which respect for human right issues do not exist, we have come to the conclusion that we live in a region lacking a responsible president.
We therefore ask:

1. The resignation of the ‘president of Kurdistan, the president of the parliament, and the president of the KRG government.

2. We as citizens of this semi-autonomous region having lived under an unjust, corrupt, and unequal political system which has no respect for human rights and where the law is used for the benefit of the ruling class—we have decided we will no longer accept this government as legitimate

3. This government lost its legal and moral authority and power when it decided to shot innocent protesters who had come out to simply ask for their basic rights.

4. The fact is that this government does not respect its citizens, the rule of law and refuses to answer to the demands of its own citizens. This government only speaks with force not with negotiation or talk.

5. The fact that the president of Kurdistan is yet to come out and directly answer the demands of the protesters, respect the law, send the killers of the innocent protesters to prison and over all his refusal to respect human right issues the rule of the law confirms the fact that we are living in a region without a responsible leader.

6. Likewise the Kurdish Parliament in the past two months has failed to listen to the demands of the protesters, especially the arrest of the killers of the protesters. Therefore, it has lost its legitimacy and respect.

7. This government has proven through the use of its different forces (militias), many of them masked and without name badges and identity cards in the past two month by arresting, beating and killing protesters that these forces are only party forces and not an independent national force ready to protect ordinary citizens. Thus, we also call these forces illegitimate and unlawful.

8. Finally, the fact is clear to us all that the ruling body in this region is one that only cares about political power (chairs and money) and has been in power through the use of force, civil war and unlawful and corrupt actions. What is necessary is a new independent political form elected by the masses.

As a result of the above mentioned facts—we have this new road map:

A. Immediate resignation of the three ruling political bodies in Southern Kurdistan.

B. Immediate resignation of the head of the KRG, Barhim Salih and the dismantling of his cabinet.

C. The immediate resignation of the head of the parliament and the dismantling of the Kurdish parliament. One member shall take charge of the parliament until and new and legal parliament shall be elected by the people of Kurdistan.

The memo further goes into how this new body will be elected and how much time will be necessary for all these things to take place. Six month is mentioned as the time necessary for things to go into action. After the memo was read and made clear, the protesters in the square voted to accept it. Hands we raised and people cheered in large numbers. Another day ended. This one was considered a good day by all.

Until tomorrow! We shall continue to wait and see.


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