barzani5As the end of Masoud Barzani’s presidency is coming to a near, the Kurdistan Region’s political parties have yet to reach an agreement on electing the region’s next president.

This has been an ongoing problem in the Kurdish region as once again there is the question of extending Brazani’s presidency. If we look back at the history of his presidency, Barzani’s second term ended in 2013 but was extended. This extension  was brought forward and imposed by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) on the condition that he can no longer run as president. It was presented that the region was not ready to have an election at that time. So what is the excuse this time? Is Kurdistan in the same critical condition and  not eligible to elect a new president? What are the motives behind this commotion?  These are all questions that many of us are asking.

Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) again is suggesting for a second two-year extension. The party claims that once again, the region is not ready to hold elections. This suggestion has not been welcomed by the other major political parties as they are opposing this extension in so far as, they have submitted an amendment to the presidency law to Kurdistan’s parliament. However, the KDP is not having that and refuses to take into account this process.  Its difficult to understand why this party is appose to what the majority agree upon and this process of electing a new president should be done in a more professional and sensitive manner. The only thing that one can think about with regards to KDP’s request for extension is the desire and need for political dominance and power control.

This topic has sparked controversy among political parties and the Kurdish people, and as his term date expiration is nearing (August 19, 2015) there seems to be a panic. This issue has been so controversial because when the Kurdish Regional Government started it was suppose to be in the interest of all people but it was note. It has been perceived by many people that  as the President of the country he failed to service all people as he kept using his presidential powers and place for his Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK) benefit. Hence, he misused his powers and serviced more in the interests of his political party and this is why people and parliamentary candidates want change. I want to expand a little on taking into account the interests of all citizens not just the political party you belong to.

The recent media outlets are continuously debating over whether the next election be a Presidential or Parliamentary system? On the surface things may not look as bad and this article cannot really go into the direct roots of this form of corruption that is unfolding before our eyes. Rather that’s not my aim; my focus is on why are we as Kurds allowing this to continue and how we can come to terms with each other and cater to our citizens. If we continue with this Presidential system then Kurdistan will be no different in comparison to those countries where leadership is equal to dictatorship. Even the president’s power as been questioned in relations to how he has used it during his presidency.  The truth is that this new term is extremely important as the threat of terror has not abated our people and it is up to all of us to help better serve our country and those living in it. We need to stick together and decided in a realistic manner about the next President. If Barzani continues to rule, then Kurdistan’s claim of a democratic country will be in question as western powers might view it as not withholding the rulings of presidency.

So should Massoud Barzani leave the Presidency and if so why?

Some argue that he has not completely fulfilled his duties as the President of the Kurdistan Region because he has failed to uphold the rules of the law and has not practiced true democracy. Not only has he failed in that aspect but also in demonstrating leadership. This is often put forward because it has been argued by opposition parties that people who are members or supporters of PDK party are treated with more dignity and quality. Therefore, by treating them better he has created some sort of bubble around himself which makes it hard to remove him from presidency in a peaceful manner. At this point it is important not to focus too much on what he did wrong but on how we can work together to better it and to ensure that things are not one sided and other political parties  need to take into account and recognize their mistakes as well.  This political struggle in Kurdistan did not come about because Barzani became the president rather its because there is a lack of communication and true understanding of each other. Thus far, it has been noted that Massoud Barzani’s presidency is not completely democratic but we cannot ignore the good things he has done for the country and people as well. We ought to think about the struggles we are facing with our neighbouring countries and how we can unite our people and fight together for the common interest-the interest of the Kurdish people. We cannot afford to deliberately put this country to the ruins and be at each others noses because we would be just serving at the interest of those foreign powers who want to bring separation among us.

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