December 11, 2010
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On the Eve of KDP 13th Conference in Hawler - By Mufid Abdulla

According to Nechirvan Barzani, one of the KDP leaders, the whole of the KDP leadership are at present busy with preparations for the forthcoming conference in the south of Kurdistan. Usually the members of this conference amount to only 600 members but in some time that figure will increase to 1500 members who will attend the conference by recommendation from the leaders of the KDP. For the last 19 years the symbol and structure of the KDP has not changed significantly, therefore why should we expect any changes?

The concept of a symbol is a powerful indication of today’s organisation. If you visit any big organisation in Europe that employs many thousands of people you do realise that the main entrance is for that organisation and there is a special car park for their employed staff. Factors such as these signify that the symbol of that organisation is to care about their staff.

Closely considering that the relationship and structure of the KDP are based on family ties, like many other parties in third world countries; inside the KDP the president is always accompanied by his sons and the main posts are assigned to other close families such as the notable posts of homeland security and leader of the government.

At this stage, the Barzani family are controlling the whole structure of the KDP. There is a political struggle taking place between the conservative wing which want to preserve the KDP and the moderniser wing in which Nechirvan Barzani is placed; recently these appear to be the main issues inside this party. Despite the fact that Nechirvan Barzani is a young talented and competent man who possesses an impressive amount of resources, capability and teamwork, recently, his power has been subsided and voice has been heard less.

On the eve of this conference we need to ask why this conference should be different from what they had before. There are three aspects to this conference and what the KDP is trying to do; the first is to depict the KDP as the party of economic profligacy and mismanagement. The second is to redraw the political map and rules of the game to its advantage. The third, the most innovative and bold of its goals, is to adapt the KDP’s history and language through claiming to be the party of society. But what struck me forcefully were the conflicts between my expectations and actual experiences. The KDP have not been able historically to refrain itself from a party family base. Can the KDP abandon this party leadership to a non-Barzani family or the control of security to a non family member?

The KDP are not preparing the conference for the sake of changes and innovation but instead to check balances and changing faces. I am not clear to what extent a significant imitative of the 13th KDP conference was available in others. As Nechirvan Barzani stated on the Golan website, “they don’t want to just change the faces but to change the programme of the KDP”. Can Nechirvan Barzani mean it?

Qualification and Conclusion

1.The KDP must find an amicable solution based on democratic principles, which allow the power of their leader to play a meaningful role in this high level of government. The KDP should configure all the issues attached to peoples hopes and expectations such as: education, women’s issues, oil, corruption, youth issues etc.

2.The presence in one organization of various classes and social groups with conflicting long term interests that may collide at crucial moments brings its own train of conflicts.

3.The KDP has lost a lot of ground over the last 19 years since it has taken over the civil administration. The most recent interview by Jawher Namiq former KDP leader confirmed that KDP electoral ability is fading away year after year. Ostensibly, their votes in the 2009 election were less than they had in 2005. Therefore, the KDP needs to innovate a model which can support the institution not the family structure organisation. The only way to regain the trust of people is to talk and stay with people and analyse all the issues in Kurdish society which are essential for us to function productively.


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