By: Shwan Zulal
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
By: Shwan Zulal
Protest continues in Maidani Azadi and NRT has reported that security forces have opened fire in Halabja today injuring 15 protesters as a result. After the shootings, the protesters started to demand the town mayor's resignation and he announced that if he no longer able to protect the residence, he would tender his resignation. Furthermore, there is a report that Maidani Azadi protesters are to meet with a parliamentary committee to discuss their demands.
Cracks are beginning to show among KDP supporters as reports are coming from Penusakan website that Zebari Tribe, a significant clan in Akre have been airing their discontent with the current government. The website also reported that Hoshyar Zebari, Iraqi foreign minister, have urgently been sent to the area to deal the tribal leaders and try to neutralise the situation.
Jawhar Namiq, the first Kurdish parliament speaker died in Sweden today, and there is a wide recognition to his contribution to the democratic process in Kurdistan Region. There is a three-day mourning declared by Kurdish parliament to show respect. Namiq joined KDP 1975 and in early 1990s, he became leadership committee member until 2003. Since retiring there have been many speculations as to why he left KDP and ended his political courier. Nevertheless, he would be remembered for is valuable contribution to the first Kurdish parliament.
President Barzani said, he will quit his post if reforms could not be carried out in three month, reported Hawlati. Moreover, a statement was published by the President setting out reform program. It contained around 265 words, which has been described it as "comprehensive" reform program by KRG. The statement has few words describing the areas where the reforms would be carried out. To a casual reader it may sound great, reform in three months, but the authority who published this statement were either lazy or unbelievably dim-witted. This reform would affect the nation's future and determine the future of the president yet they could only manage to come up with as much as six words to describe the reforms. The president and government officials believe that they can fool people by showing them a piece of paper talking about reform program. Anyone who understand the way government works and legislations take effect, understand three month to achieve results tackling the chronic problems in Kurdistan is ludicrous. The government have not yet worked out the details of the reform yet they expect to have result in three months. This time scale could not possibly be realistic, and can only be described as an effort by the government to buy time and divert attention.
Successful reforms need meticulous planning with details of possible legislations and polices to deal with the problems. The Region has been so badly mismanaged and the system of dependency on sate and party political patronage would take many months if not years to unravel. It is not possible to stop paying salaries and allowance overnight as the economy will collapse. It is been estimated that nearly 70 percent of the work force is employed by the state and political parties. Getting rid of the system crated by the current political leadership would need carful planning and processes to make sure it is done fairly, otherwise the problems would not go away.
President's statement about reform programs is addressing issues, people have been complaining about for the last two decades and he and his partners in government have done absolutely nothing about it. Therefore, promise of reform alone does not reassure the public as they have heard it all before. KRG have yet to show by action not only words that they mean reform and accountability and so far, no actions have been forthcoming.