Thursday, April 07, 2011
By Shwan Zulal
The protest in Kurdistan entering its fiftieth day and so far there is not end in sight. Maidani Azadi committee has issues a statement in light of the new development. They are talking about the involvement of the opposition in the process and the efforts by different parties to create division between them and opposition. The committee is trying to warn the opposition and the incumbent that they will not give up their demands and will continue until the President and government resigns as well as seeing dissolution of parliament.
In the statement, they reiterated that participation of the opposition parties in the protests, does not take anything away from the legitimacy of the protest. The temporary committee therefore urged all the protesters and the public to reject any attempts by anyone who tries to create division among the protesters and opposition. The committee goes on describing the protest as a natural will of people and saying that it has no hidden agenda plus not been sponsored by anyone. They put down the main reason for protest to the failure of government in the last 20 years. Furthermore, they talk about the brutal response by the authorities when the demonstrators were only exercising their legitimate right of protest.
While the square is trying to unite the protesters and opposition, a rift is developing between Patriotic union of Kurdistan and Kurdistan Democratic Party. PUK has told Midlle-east newspaper that Talabani "would not accept the removal of Barham Salih (Kurdistan Region Prime minister) and would only accept changes to government if the PM stays". Meanwhile, KDP political bureau member, Fazil Mirani in an interview on Zagors TV has said:"The opposition demands have many positive points which could be discussed and agree on."
As I mention in my earlier Blog , KDP appears to be keener on forming a new government and take back the premiership from PUK. Nevertheless; PUK are more resistance to the idea and want to keep the government as it is or make minor changes. Reading between the lines the mood among the incumbent is more inclined towards a reshuffle and not dissolution of the government. It is early days to see what will happen as there are negotiations going on at levels of government even President Talabani and President Barzani have met to discuss the issues.
While Miran was making his soft comments and trying to show himself in a good light, he referred to the shooting of protesters as regrettable but fall short of apologising. While he was trying to use a diplomatic language in order to calm public anger, he went saying that throwing stones was a mistake and the response was too therefore it should be left there. His remarks implies that the government sees the throwing stones and killing protesters as equal in gravity and those responsible would not be prosecuted. This official is the same person who came on TV the day after KDP opened fire on protesters in Slemani and said, "We will amputate the hands of anyone throwing stones and attacking our offices". He has lost all credibility and neither the protesters not the public take his comments seriously, Yet KDP chose him to come on TV and try to appease the opposition.
More cracks are showing among the smaller parties too in Kurdistani List as a spokes person for Kurdistan Islamic movement has told Hawlati that "the lack of response by government to protesters' demands are very dangerous... if situation get worse it will be our making." Moreover, a minister for religious affairs from the same party has also showed his discontent with the way the government have been conducting its business.