PUK & KDP feel sidelined by each other in
their provinces in Iraqi Kurdistan
September 4, 2012
ERBIL/SLÊMANI, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', —
Shalaw Ali Askari, a member of the leadership
committee of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK),
says it’s his party’s right to hold government posts
in areas outside Slemani [Sulaimaniyah] province.
“Because it is our right and the KDP (Kurdistan
Democratic Party) knows this very well,” Askari,
also a PUK official in Duhok province, told Rudaw.
He said that the issue of PUK getting government
posts in Duhok, such as mayoral and administrative
posts, needs to be addressed.
"These are PUK rights given through the existing
strategic agreement between us. We are unable to
reach out to the people and convey the message of
our party. This situation cannot go on in this
manner. It is impossible," Askari added.
In the central committal meeting of the PUK, held in
Duhok last week, the party criticized the KDP for
not granting land to PUK martyrs, and denying
government posts and employment to PUK members.
Although the PUK and KDP have a standing strategic
agreement as partners in the Kurdistan Regional
Government (KRG), Askari said the KDP “Still needs
to explain to us whether the PUK has rights in the
Badinan region or not. If we do not have rights,www.ekurd.net
then we shall work as the opposition and explain our
views to the public."
KDP members similarly criticized the PUK for not
allowing them to work in the Slemani and Garmiyan
regions. They too believe the PUK uses different
pretexts for denying KDP members employment and
important government posts.
A KDP leadership official in Slemani said that KDP
members are denied many rights in Slemani in terms
of receiving administrative and mayoral posts.
"We are treated badly within PUK administrative
borders," said Abdulwahab Ali, spokesperson of KDP’s
leadership council in Slemani.
"The history of the PUK in Slemani is different from
the history of the KDP in Duhok. From the day the
PUK was founded until the present, the PUK has not
had any influence in the Badinan region. But 90
percent of KDP leaders since its early days have
come from Slemani.”
Ali believes a comparison can be made by weighing
support for the PUK in Duhok against that of the KDP
in Slemani. “This reality on the ground exists
despite the fact that the KDP controls no
significant posts in either Slemani or Garmiyan," he
"The PUK does not allow plots of land to be granted
to KDP martyrs within their controlled territories,”
Ali added. “We received promises during the
premiership of Barham Salih that land would be
granted to KDP martyrs, but this has not happened
According to Ali, the situation for KDP members is
much worse in Garmiyan than in Slemani, where he
claims thousands of KDP members have been left
without government jobs.
Mahmoud Sangawi, a PUK official admitted that KDP
members are not allowed to work as government
employees. "This is something that cannot be denied.
The PUK has no government posts in Badinan region
and the same goes for KDP in Slemani," he said.
Arez Abdullah, a leadership member of the PUK,
criticized the KDP, saying, "People all know that
the majority of residents in a town like Choman are
PUK members. Why is a PUK official not permitted to
be mayor there? If the majority of people were KDP
members in a town like Slemani, their mayor should
be from the KDP as well.”
“We would not see a problem if all KRG ministers
were KDP members. But, the treatment of people is
very important and political parties must not
interfere in the government. We should learn from
the civil war," Abdullah added.
Ali Tatar, a KDP leadership member, said that those
who demand government posts for PUK members within
KDP-controlled regions do not understand the meaning
"It makes no sense to assign a PUK official in a
region where the KDP enjoys greater support. You
would not find such a situation in Europe or the
United States," he said.
By Hevidar Ahmed - Rudaw
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