Many worshipers in Slemani prayed in Maidani Azadi for the third Friday running and their numbers have been increasing. The main two Islamic parties in Kurdistan whom are in opposition have been trying to take advantage of the protest and muster support. They have been under the heavy arms of PUK and KDP for the last two decades due to their links to radical Islam. Both parties have long distanced themselves from fundamentalism and no longer have militia because of pressure from the incumbents, however many are still sceptical about the real intentions and whether they have changed under the skin.
|Maidai Azadi Friday|
After the rally in Erbil there were reports of scuffles among PUK and KDP supporters which broke out in the town centre. There have been warnings about the possibility of the repeat of the civil war between these old rivals but this time around both side have a lot more to lose. It will take more than a scuffle to trigger any reaction from either side. PUK seems to be in a very weak potion in Slemani and is treading very carefully because a wrong move could be the nail in their coffin. The party has suffered since Goran split from them and Talabani seems to be working behind the scene without giving much away. Speculations are rife and many question whether PUK can survive the protest and what shape it would take if it managed to come through.
The political game continues and Kurdish public are intrigued as ever as to what is in store for them. The main consensus among them appears to be, change is needed and the incumbent can no longer be trusted to deliver it. But knowing the hubris nature of their political leaders they all wonder how this current situation can be resolved as they cannot see either leader especially Barzani to let go of power that easily. One thing for sure is that the protest will continue and change must come sooner or later.