May 27, 2010

The prospect of democracy in the south of Kurdistan - By Mufid Abdulla

When demonstrations took place in the city of Hallabja in 2007 in protest of poor public services, one of the outcomes was the destruction and burning of the Hallabja Monument by angry demonstrators. At the time, the ruling apparatus of the PUK and KRG, which were controlled in this area by the PUK, rather than setting up an inquiry desk, fired accusations at foreign forces regarding the riot instead of respecting the well-being and voice of the people. In reality, the people of Hallabja are sick and tired of the corruption and misrule which has continued for so long.

With regards to the recent condemnation and demonstrations which have taken place all over Kurdistan in reaction to the murder of young journalist Sardasht Osman, with exception to Zako and Dhok which are controlled by the KDP with an iron fist, the KDP have responded to imply that there are both internal and external forces behind this mass demonstration and condemnation. They have eventually emerged as accusing the Gorran movement for stimulating these demonstrations.

This tragedy has shown a clear picture of the KDP failing to get a grip on events. Instead their central media apparatus has shown complete disrespect to the people and the opposition leader Nawshirwan Mustafa. The KDP have accused the Gorran movement and their leaders of stirring the situation all over Kurdistan. We do not need to go too far to prove the above argument. If we consider the Khabat KDP daily newspaper, dated 18/05/10 issue  no 3474, we can see the headline stating that “Nawshirwan Mustafa must listen”, with the article continuing to say “Nawshirwan Mustafa and all his followers are murderers”. We all stand ourselves against this accusatory language and refuse to be cowed. The KDP is not acting in the interests of our national security. The KDP and its leadership were born with aggression in their DNA and are still missing those years of civil war from 1994-1998. The KDP only know confrontational precepts with regards to conflicts. This is the brutal suppression of the people’s voice by the KDP.

What does this phrase in their daily newspaper Khabat mean? It is an insult and used in this fashion it is starting to have sinister connotations; this is a form of graphic abuse by the KDP. The KDP are obsessed with power and domination as a part of tribal custom. The main wing of the KDP and their friends are comprised of people most likely to cause the KDP to fall.

One cannot expect a KDP and their central committee to be ideological. However, one ought to expect the leader of the largest party in Kurdistan to be living in the present day. That means that the KDP has not shown any respect to the principles and convictions of our people and these are not represented in the image of today’s KDP.


Firstly, the KDP should prioritise advancing a peace strategy with democracy for the whole of Kurdistan that will allow all of us to live together. At the moment the shaky democracy we have is not going to grow unless the two ruling parties allow it to, and the only way for this to develop and progress is for the two ruling parties to modernise their party structure and let real people be involved in the leadership, rather than just family members and cronyism which is pervasive in the politics of the ruling parties.

Secondly, the KDP should set to one side our legacy of conflict and suffering, hatred and mistrust. This does not mean forgetting everything that has happened. No section of our community has a monopoly on suffering. We are all being hurt and we have all inflicted hurts in the past civil war. We must learn the lessons of the past; not to recriminate. As Irish poet and dramatist William Butler Yeats, one of the most famous figures of twenties century literature said; “We need not feel the bitterness of the past to discover its meaning for the present and future”.  Let us also consider the words of Leon Trotsky who said that “hatred wedded imbalances”. We have to agree to set aside the insidious allegiances of pain that constrain us from moving forward and create a foundation of justice that makes our Kurdistan possible.


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