August 31, 2009
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Dr. Kamal Mirawdeli: From Unity to Regionalism - By Delovan Barwari

In modern democratic political systems, the floor of parliament has been the place where opposition parties raise the shortcomings of their respective governments and expose the injustices and bring out reform through open and transparent debates over issues.

On July 25th, 2009, the main opposition party, Change list, managed to guarantee a significant number of seats in the parliament of Kurdistan by promising the people of Kurdistan to reform the current political system into a modern democratic system and to fight against corruption and nepotism.

In an interview with Awene, Dr. Kamal Mirawdeli, one of the five candidates for the Presidency of Kurdistan, made an absurd statement, claiming to be the elected President of Sulymania and Garmian region; in addition, he ordered the Change list members of parliament to boycott the Kurdistan parliament and the leadership of southern Kurdistan. The statements made by Kamal Mirawdeli are truly ludicrous.  It is a total contradiction to the false title given to him as a Kurdish intellectual.

If one dissects his remarks during the interview, it can strongly be argued that his intentions are divisive, contradictory and completely illogical and misleading people of Kurdistan.

The presidential elections on July 25th, was an open and direct election for the Presidency of all the regions currently under the jurisdiction of Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). That being said, there could only be one victor in the final outcome of the election as the president of KRG, and obviously the Iraqi Higher Electoral Commission (IHEC) declared Mr. Massud Barzani as the president of Kurdistan with an overwhelming majority, nearly 70% of the votes.

To translate Kamal Mirawdeli’s logic, it would imply that KRG is currently being ruled by five presidents, since there were five contenders in the Presidential election. In addition, he is also declaring himself as the true leader of Gorran (Change list), a direct challenge to Newshirwan Mustafa.

Kamal Mirawdeli statements may also mislead a small segment of the citizens of Kurdistan. Such statements are harmful for Kurdish unity, and may have great potential to lead to instability and division amongst Kurds.  By declaring himself as the president of a region, he is directly attempting to divide Iraqi-Kurdistan into two official regions, a backward move that would turn Kurdistan to the dark ages of regionalism or tribalism.

The Change list reached victory in the province of Sulaymania do to the fact that the people of Sulaymania casted their votes for constructive change, not a calamity that Mirawdeli is preaching. Therefore, it is their obligation (Change list) to raise the shortcomings of the ruling parties, KRG, or any other issues in floor of parliament through open and civilized debates; boycotting the parliament is a misrepresentation to their Constituency. The MPs of the Change list must recognize that the citizens of Sulaymania placed them in power, not Kamal Mirawdeli. 

Kurdistan is at a critical stage, and there are numerous highly vital and explosive unresolved issues with the Iraqi government that must be dealt with an unconditional unity amidst the citizens of Kurdistan and the Kurdish leadership. Kamal Mirawdeli stance would only work in favor of the government of Baghdad and our nation’s enemies. The question is, who is Kamal Mirawdeli really representing?


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