Maidani Azadi (Sera Square) have been invaded once again after Fridays events and sporadic clashes between protesters and riot police as well as security forces were reported in and around the centre of Slemani(Sulaimaniyah). The protest turned violent on Friday leaving many to wonder what will happen next. Fifty people including many riot police were reported injured during the clashes and there are no figures for Saturday protest yet.The protest in Kurdistan have been going on for over six weeks now and yet nothing has changed in the government.
Neither senior resignations nor any effective legislations dealing with protesters demands have been forthcoming. It is a stalemate between the protesters, the government and the opposition parties. In the early phases of the protest, PUK (patriotic Union of Kurdistan) had discussions with the opposition Goran movement and the other parties and those discussions went nowhere. PUK, KDP(Kurdistan Democratic party) and Komal (Islamic Party) met Saturday and a senior PUK figure, Mala Bakhtyar, told reporters that the meetings were positive and could lead to good results. He added: "PUK considers a unity government including all the above three parties a plausible solution to deal with protesters 22 point demands".
In theory, this would be the better option to make sure that the overdue reforms seen through. Because of the multilateral nature of the coalition, it may just work. Nevertheless, the new coalition government may implement all the reforms they introduce in the areas where PUK and Goran are strongest but the pitfall is whether KDP would facilitate same authority in its areas. This could lead to a partial breakup of the region administratively and geographically.