Can a democratic election change our society for the better in the South of Kurdistan? - By Mufid Abdulla

We only have to consider elections around the world in both developed and developing countries to see the huge potential impact for change they have in their respective societies, both positive and negative, they certainly shape the future of a nation.

In the post-communist countries of Eastern Europe we can see many changes have resulted to these societies since gaining independence. The main and common one for all is that they are now all part of the European Union which has had a huge impact to them economically, despite the economic crises, they have more security now that outside help is better co-ordinated, such as the IMF’s newfound cooperation with the European Commission, national governments and the banks.

It is no wonder that we are so cautious when it comes to the election process and that the majority of the public are fearful of who to trust in such cases. In Russia, for example, last year we saw President Putin step-down and new Russian President Dmitry Medvedev take over. Although on the outside this appeared to be a positive change with Medvedev being the first Russian president to not have any links to the communist party or KGB, we still have to ask ourselves what role Putin is still playing in the background and the fact that he still has the possibility to be re-elected in 2012.

Last November we witnessed what was possibly the biggest positive change in American history with the election result in which Barack Obama became the first black president in American history. We are waiting to see the extent to which this will change American society for the better and the relationship of the U.S with other nations worldwide. However, we only have to look back at the previous President, George W Bush, to see that the potential of corruption is just as rife in developed nations. Although we cannot prove that this was the case we only have to consider the convenience of the former President’s brother holding the position as Governor of Florida, the controversy surrounding the methods of vote counting, the handling of the recount and the fact that in the state of Florida which has a population of more than 18 million, Bush won by just 537 votes.

In Iran this week we have seen the devastating effects corrupt elections can have with the disputed re-election of President Ahmadinejad and Iranian society is now faced with the complete loss of any kind of democracy which existed there. The huge rallies and demonstrations taking place in Tehran at the moment are evidence that the majority of citizens are not willing to stand for such obvious fraud and so many innocent citizens are losing their lives and being tortured in their fight for justice.

This should act as a warning to our own corrupt Kurdish leaders that we are not prepared to continue with such acts and are at a vital point now in our history where change can take place for the better and we want this to occur in a non-violent and just manner.

Our upcoming election in the south of Kurdistan will decide the fate of our society and the direction of our political system for the next four years. Nevertheless, the economic and social systems in the south of Kurdistan have gradually been changing since the collapse of the dictator in 2003 and the inflow of Foreign Direct Investment. That has brought a huge increase in wealth to certain classes and at the same time has brought a deep poverty to others. Today’s anger in Kurdistan does not belong to a tiny fraction of the people. This is reminiscent to the Paris Commune government in 1871 when teachers, farmers, doctors and other workers all joined together in revolution. People hated the central government to such an extent that they decided to refer to the local councils and no longer considered the government as a main tool for ruling the economy and social justice. The Paris Commune only existed for a short time, just three months, but that example remains vivid and relevant in our history forever.

The Change List lead by Nawshirwan Mustafa could be a potential winner now in Kurdistan. The anger and hatred of people towards the KRG is increasing day by day. People do realise that the richness of Kurdistan is not less than Dubai or Kuwait, yet still people are living in poverty. If anybody has read the article ‘Rush for ‘easiest oil in the world’’ by Danny Fortson, published in The Sunday Times on 14/06/09, this refers to the current economic situation in the south of Kurdistan and after reading this people will realise exactly what has happened to our nation over the last 18 years. The only reason for the spreading of poverty and deprivation for the whole nation in the south of Kurdistan is the mismanagement amongst the leaders, who are in effect Bonaparte leaders.

According to the Kurdish website, Kurdistan Post ( and relying on their trustworthy sources, this week some more shocking news was declared. According to these sources, someone from the offices of the Independent Election Commission has confirmed to some of the groups and parties who have registered their name with them for the upcoming elections on 25th July about a new software system, which in effect amounts to a new method of corruption.

These sources confirmed that the Commission has set up a sort of software to reverse the result of the election and that the software is costing the KDP and PUK millions of pounds. The source also confirmed that the software has been programmed to such a complex extent that the percentage of KDP and PUK votes can not amount to less than 70%. Even if the other groups and parties get 50% of the vote, this programme will add all non-voter ballots to the KDP/PUK list. In addition, the same source has confirmed that the programme has been completed and tested properly and that this is probably the reason why some leaders such as Mula Bakhtiar have said that the KDP and PUK will get not less than 70% of the vote.

Finally, this election is unique because people want it to be unique and this time people want to register their vote for good. The biggest injustice has happened to the people living outside Kurdistan, who have not been given any rights to vote because of the mismanagement and excuses of the KRG. Surely, if Kurdish leaders love their people and their country they should take care of that issue and the fact that they are disregarding the Kurdish community abroad is very significant, that is another nail in the coffin of the KRG. However, thousands of people have decided to go back home during the election time to make their presence and support a reality in front of the ballot boxes. This time, the election will change the fate of Kurdish people because the people of Kurdistan have had enough from these leaders who have been acting unfaithfully for the last 18 years.


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June 19, 2009
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