Kurdish Blogger, political & security risk analyst and Due Diligence consultant with legal background; writing about policy, political & legal reforms in Kurdistan, Iraq and wider Middle East. Special focus on Kurdistan Region oil & gas sector, investment & economic development.
The protest continues with ever larger crowds after yesterdays threats by Talabni to drive the protesters out by force. Spring is approaching fast in Kurdistan and many villagers pick Nergz (Narcissus) from the wild at this time of year and sell it in towns and cities across Kurdistan. While walking along the main shopping parade near Sera known as Maidani Azadi, near Chai xanai Sha'b there are many makeshift stalls and young boys selling Nergz. The clean refreshing spring scent reminds one of the season and instils a feeling of hope and optimism. It is not a coincidence that protesters are very optimistic and believe that they can make history in the Square while some calls the protest Nergz revolution.
As predicted the coalition government in Kurdistan have become weaker after the main two political parties started the blame game. On one hand PUK is fighting for its survival and blaming KDP for heavy handed approach to the protest and its demise. On the other hand KDP is blaming PUK of failing to keep order in its stronghold and not being forceful enough dispersing the protest.
PUK and KDP have made a strategic agreement to form the new Kurdish government and since they have had their differences but this was always been resolved by throwing money at it, and buying any decent among their ranks. Nevertheless in the past three weeks it has become clear the previous approach of procrastinations have failed and this time around the public's anger is at a point where both parties risk electoral annihilation at the next ballot. KDP has already agreed to hold early elections but PUK and opposition parties as well as the public are very sceptical and know that Barzani could not be trusted and the election would not be fair.
Maidani Azadi today
Barzani and Talabni at the top of their parties does not seem to understand the need for change, they have both being at the forefront of the Kurdish politics forever and are not yet willing to let go. Because of the circumstances in Kurdistan and Kurdish struggle many kept quite in the interest of stability but now everyone knows that public can no longer tolerate this incompetent and backward looking set of politicians. In the early nineties Barzani famously said:"we need time to adjust because we know how to blow up bridges but do not know how to build them". The Kurdish public gave them the benefit of the doubt for 20 years and now they realised these self-styled "heroes" have still not learned to how to build a bridge.
These leaders must realise that if they carry on and cling on to power just because they think they deserve it and not because they want to serve their fellow citizens, their legacy would be corruption, incompetence and betrayal. There is still time for a dignified exit as there are many who still respect what they have done in the past but the protesters are reaching out to the nation and Barzani and Talabni's support ebbing away.