Victory for Kurdistan! - By Delovan Barwari

The outcome of the election on July 25th in Kurdistan is a victory for the Kurdish nation. It certainly is a step forward in the political landscape and should help positively transform the political mentality in Kurdistan.  The time has come for all political parties and groups to truly unite and work together to build a prosperous society in Kurdistan, and to join forces to bring to a close: the unfinished business in Baghdad.

As a nation, we have climbed the latter a step higher and demonstrated to the world that Kurds are democratic and progressive. It is a moment for the opposition parties to refrain from inflaming hate and chaos in their media outlets and throughout streets of Kurdistan, as the end product of the election has been a triumph for all parties. 

Without a doubt, there have been shortcomings in the way Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) handled its affairs in the past; however, it is only fair to recognize that KRG has also achieved enormous progress in a short period of time in comparison to the majority of the Middle Eastern countries, especially compared to Iraq, Iran, and Syria. For instance, the KRG administration has made significant progress in the development of the infrastructure, education, economy, security, women and minority rights. In addition, they have courageously defended the rights of Kurds in Baghdad.  

As this monumental achievement is an indication of another milestone towards the development of democracy, it is highly critical for our nation to be optimistic, especially as high ranking officials from Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) have openly acknowledged their shortcomings on numerous occasions. “I think this region needs better services, we need more open government, we need to counter corruption more effectively, we definitely need our parliament to be more active in terms of its monitoring role and as a balance to the executive” is the statement made by Barham Saleh during an interview with Los Angeles Times.  Furthermore, what is more significant is that KRG has generated a concrete plan to put into practice reforms.  To take action on its good-governance promise, on July 12th 2009, Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani unveiled a new initiative by presenting a well known international company, PriceWaterCooper, to establish a system of governance and transparency throughout its administration.  It is the first government in the Middle East, and first regional government in the world to implement such plan.

Now that we have an elected President, Mr. Massud Barzani, through direct elections by an overwhelming majority, nearly 70%, and a healthy parliament with a significant opposition in place, it’s time to heal the wounds and unite to maximize and strengthen our stand in our prelude towards returning the disputed areas back to Kurdistan and protecting our god given rights.

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July 31, 2009
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