Local Power Dynamics in Kurdistan:MERI Forum 16 S11

Date: 27th October 2016

MERI Forum 2016

In this panel

Mala Bakhtiar, Politburo member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
Fazil Mirani, Politburo member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party
Dlawer Ala’Aldeen, President of MERI (Chair)

This is a summary of the panel discussion, please find the full video of the debates and Q&A above

This panel was a continuation of the previous one, therefore no introduction was given by the chair.

Fazil Mirani suggested that although the KDP should be self-critical as they are leading the government, they “shouldn’t be responsible for all the achievements and the failures” and  the bigger picture should be recognised. He also advocated for a focus on solutions rather than dwelling on problems and suggested that the press only talks about the negatives. He argued that “if you have a constitution all these issues will be solved. If we don’t these things even the liberation of Mosul will not help us”. He also called for teachers not to boycott schools, saying that it “impose[s] injustice on children” as they have a right to education, suggesting that this issue has become politicised by the political parties that control those areas, referring to the teacher strikes in Sulaymaniyah.

Mala Bakhtiar also stressed that “we cannot disregard the achievement of the Kurdistan region over the last years”. He also focused on the central role of the Baghdad government: “Baghdad is the gate for solutions”, although he argued that the political parties all agree on independence and would implement it once the time is right, yet he later suggested that “we will probably end up staying with Iraq for the next ten years”. Additionally, he stressed the role of the international community, yet he stated that “we should not wait for other countries to pity us”. He disagreed with Mirani on the attribution of responsibility, regarding the president as having primary responsibility for resolving the existent problems. Bakhtiar advocated for a compromise between the KDP and Gorran, suggesting that the PUK could help in mediation of this.

Finally, Dlawer Ala’Aldeen summed up the sentiments of the session with a call to action: “let’s activate the parliament!”.

The video for this panel can be found above.

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