Kurdish parliament needs to get its priorities right

Kurdishaspect.com - By Shwan Zulal

In the latest episodes
of Kurdistan Region
parliament, an
opposition MP,
Peshawa Tofiq, has
been stripped of his
parliamentary immunity
from prosecution. The
vote took place after
Tofiq, threw two bottles of water at the Speaker, Kamal Kirkuki, late last month. Today, the oppositions once again boycotted a parliamentary session, citing the illegality of the proposed legislations as it has not been discussed with the oppositions. One of the other issues proposed to be discussed today has been the conduct of Tofiq in relation to Kurdish "Water-gate". 

This trend seems to be taking hold in Iraq as another MP in Iraqi Assembly has faced the same fate and his parliamentary privileges striped away for other conducts. In any other circumstances, the action by Kurdish parliament may have been justified, but the proportionality of the action by parliament to dedicate parliamentary time to have a vote on a matter as trivial as this, is mind-boggling. Protesters and ordinary Kurdish citizens being shot and tortured meanwhile, Kurdish parliament is more concerned to give parliamentary time to people challenging its lack of authority.

This latest decision by the incumbent MPs to vote against one of their colleges and for the speaker to allowed to happen, has but question marks on the ethics of Kurdish parliamentarians. It is a disgrace for those MP who have given Peshmerga and interior minister a vote of confidence as their forces have opened fire on protesters. While, they are attempting to pave the way for a Member of Parliament to be persecuted for denting the speakers pride, by throwing water at him.

Many Kurdish MPs have once again proved their lack of compassion for the institution of parliament. It is a usual practice in any parliament, from time to time, MPs would usually rebel from party line if they believe that the issue has implications or detrimental to national interest. Nevertheless, Kurdish parliamentarians, especially the ruling party MPs have proved time and time again that they are sheep being led by a pack of wolfs. 

The longer this partisan approach counties to dog Kurdish parliament, the weaker it gets and powerful militia warlords will keep overriding its authority. Kurdish parliament has been paralysed for months now as the oppositions have been boycotting all the important votes and debates, whilst demanding parliamentary time to discuss the current political and social turmoil. The slippery slope Kurdish MPs and the speaker are going down will inevitably make parliament obsolete and the old guard will continue business as usual.

Gorran, the main opposition movement in parliament, have issued a statement yesterday showing their disappointment at the vote on striping one of their MP's caught up in the middle of the water-throwing saga from his immunity. They accuse incumbent MPs and the speaker of dishonesty, because the vote took place without any prior notice. In the statement, they are referring to a number of parliamentary codes of conduct violations committed by the speaker, and declare their intention to pursue the matter.

As long as this lack of respect for the institution of parliament and each other continues, plus individuals pride gets in the way of public interest, the institution of parliament and democracy will remain weak and bogus in Kurdish.

The recent events shows that the current political system is not working as most MPs are cronies and do not work for their constituents. Therefore, an early election is a must, but first the political system and the way MPs are elected must be reformed in order to make MPs more accountable to their constituents rather than slaves (MASTAWCHI) to their political party. Above all, Kurdish MPs must remember that opponent MPs are only colleges trying to deliver their constituents massage and not the enemy. 







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May 2, 2011
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