MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : ER HAT ES ENDLICH GESCHAFFT / MIT UNTERSTÜTZUNG DER USA

Barham Salih wird neuer irakischer Präsident  – Der Irak hat ein neues Staatsoberhaupt. Bei der Wahl setzte sich Barham Salih, der Kandidat der YNK, mit deutlicher Mehrheit durch.

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Kurdistan’s Islamist Parties Strategize in Upcoming Elections / Iraq

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS TODAYS RELEVANT ANALYSIS BY FIKRA FORUM – WASHINGTON

 Mera Jasm Bakr – Muhammed (Mera) Jasm Bakr is an international studies student at the American University of Iraq Sulaymaniyah and a research assistant at @IRISmideast. – Also available in العربية  –  28 Sept 2018 –

With elections for Iraq’s Kurdistan region slated for September 30, one key and often overlooked actor in the political arena is the changing role of the Islamic political movement in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). While the usual players, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) parties that have jointly ruled the KRG since 1991, will continue to dominate in the elections, this election season marks a shift in Islamist politicians’ involvement in the larger opposition movement that has developed in the KRG over the last decade. Many key Islamist politicians have resigned from their parties to make alliances with the Kurdistan region’s secular opposition, suggesting that opposition to the political status quo is now more important to Islamist party leaders than specific political positions. These new partnerships also have important implications for the future of KRG politics, as a more formidable oppositionist coalition may be able to disrupt the current parliamentary agenda.

     This shift in strategy reflects the challenges the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) and Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG)—founded 1994 and 2001 respectively—have traditionally faced in Kurdish elections. Both parties’ platforms are considered reformist; they promote investments and free trade as well as an end to corruption, nepotism, and the manipulation of power that characterizes the current ruling establishment. The parties also emphasize the rule of law and free, fair, and credible elections, hoping to establish an Islamic state with the components of a Western-style democracy. However, these platforms struggle to compete with the established base of the older Kurdish parties.While the KIU and KIG have repeatedly endeavored to unseat the KDP and PUK given that both are accused of corruption, widespread nepotism in their dealings, failing to provide basic services such as electricity and water, and loss of disputed territories including the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, neither party has gained much traction. During the previous elections in 2013, the KIU and KIG secured only 16 out of 111 seats in the Kurdistan parliament.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS FOCUS : Kurdish Parties in Iraq Have Hijacked Quota Seats for Assyrians and Yazidis

SOUTH KURDISTAN (IRAQ) – 2018-10-01 14:04 GMT – (AINA) — The Assyrian Confederation of Europe (ACE), an umbrella organization for Assyrian federations throughout Europe, says it is deeply concerned with the parliamentary elections held yesterday in the northern Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government. The level of interference and corruption in the elections, especially for the Assyrians, was unprecedented.

Many, including leading Kurdish parties, expressed concern that holding parliamentary elections on September 30 would only deepen the social and political crisis in the region due to rigging and abuse of the electoral system.

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MESOPOTAMIA HERITAGE NEWS : Mesopotamian Water Forum!

30 Sept 2018 – Dear all, –  we are very happy to announce the first civil society forum on water in the Middle East: the Mesopotamian Water Forum!

The Mesopotamian Water Forum will be held between March 29-31, 2019 in Silemani (Sulaymaniyah) in South (Iraqi) Kurdistan and organized by civil society actors from the states of Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria.

 

Among them particularly the Save the Tigris and Iraqi Marshes Campaign needs to be mentioned. The forum will be an open space for all who are interested in social and ecological alternatives on the management of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers and their tributories. The marginalized and excluded people from the Mesopotamia region will discuss with

academicians, municipalities, local activists and NGO representatives (also from other regions) how the ongoing destruction can be limited and stoped and how the right to water for all people can be achieved in short and long term. We consider water as a tool for cooperation and peace among all ethnicities, religions and social groups in the whole Mesopotamia region which is affected heavily also by wars.

We invite everybody to contribute to the main papers of the three main topics of the conference (Dams, pollution and community water management) which will be published in advance of the event to kickstart the discussions.

Mesopotamia Ecology Movement

Save the Tigris and Iraqi Marshes Campaign www.mesop.de

The Leadership Crisis of the Kurdistan Region Opposition Parties

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS TODAYS GENERAL ANALYSIS BY CHAMAL CHOMANI

09/20/2018 . By Kamal Chomani – THE TAHRIR INSTITUTE FOR MIDDLE EAST POLICY

In the Iraqi parliamentary election in May this year, Kurdish opposition parties unexpectedly failed to regain their previous seats at the Iraqi parliament. Although electoral fraud may have contributed to their fall, there are more serious reasons behind their failure. The weakness of the opposition is the result of leadership, ideological, and organizational challenges that have led senior and critical members of the main opposition parties to urge their party leaders to implement reforms so that the failures the opposition faced in the Iraqi parliamentary election will not reoccur on September 30 in the Kurdistan region parliamentary election.

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MESOPOTAMI NEWS :TODAYS TRUE BEST WORDS! Sunni Politician: Iraqis Must Be Freed from Iranian Qasem Soleimani

 

Basnews English26/09/2018 – 15:27 – ERBIL — Iraqi Sunni politician and leader of the Ummah Party, Mithal al-Alusi, has stated that the US official’s remarks about Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, were describing the Iranian commander well.

A day earlier, US National Security Advisor John Bolton said his country has a plan to target Soleimani. “We will use every tool available to pursue Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani and to counter his “insidious designs”,” he revealed.

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The Dirty, Dark Side of the Kurdistan Region Parliament Election – By Aras Ahmed Mhamad: 25 Sept 2018 – Kurdistan tribune

MESOPOTAMIANEWS : KURDISTAN REGIONAL ELECTIONS

Voting to elect a new Kurdistan region parliament will begin at 8am on September 30, 2018 and it will end at 6pm the same day. There are 3,085,461 eligible voters in the four cities of Hewlêr (Erbil), Slêmanî, Duhok, and Halabja distributed among 1260 polling stations, according to The Independent High Elections and Referendum Commission. 773 candidates are racing for 111 parliament seats; 30 percent is allocated to females by law.

As usual, ballot fraud, vote rigging, and other irregularities are highly expected. Another problem is voting hours that will be extended surely like all the previous elections. When ISIS captured parts of Syria and Iraq, refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) rushed to the Kurdistan region seeking for shelter. A number of these refugees and IPDs have not returned to their hometowns yet and the then opposition parties claim that they are registered by the KDP and PUK to vote in this election.

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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : ANALYS BY SOUFAN CENTER – IRAN-US TENSIONS ESCALATE IN IRAQ

SOUTH KURDISTAN (IRAQ)

Bottom Line Up Front:
  • Iraq continues to be an important frontier in the growing conflict between Iran and the Trump Administration.
  • Recent Iranian actions and U.S. threats, set the stage for potential escalation as President Donald Trump prepares to chair a September 26 U.N. Security Council meeting that he has said will focus primarily on Iran’s regional destabilizing activities.
  • Iranian weapons shipments and actions by its proxies in Iraq increase the potential for tensions between Tehran and Washington.
  • Iran’s provision of short-range ballistic missiles to its Shia militia allies provides the mullahs with a growing ability to project power against U.S. interests throughout the Middle East.
  • The strength of Iran’s proxies in Iraq will enable Tehran to exert influence in the country even if the Baghdad government remains aligned with the United States.
The potential for U.S.-Iran competition to flare into outright hostilities increased significantly this month. It was reported in early September that Iran had supplied short-range ballistic missiles to Kata’ib Hezbollah, enabling Iran to project power through its proxies against regional nemesis Saudi Arabia, as well as U.S. forces in eastern Syria if necessary. And, in mid-September, in actions reminiscent of the 2003-2011 period, Iran-backed Shia militias launched rockets apparently targeting U.S. diplomatic facilities in Baghdad and Basra—actions that the State Department blamed specifically on Iran. The weapons deliveries and militia actions were likely an effort by Tehran to demonstrate it can counter the Trump administration’s campaign of broad economic, political, and military pressure. However, the actions prompted strong warnings by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo that the United States might act militarily against Iran for such provocative actions, and not necessarily only against the local proxies.

Iraq is emerging as a potential flashpoint in the broadening conflict between the United States and Iran, especially as the latter has undertaken increasingly bold steps to use its Arab neighbor as an instrument to counter U.S strategy in the region. U.S.-Iran competition in Iraq has been a hallmark of the relationship between the two countries since the American intervention in Iraq in 2003. That intervention led to a multi-year occupation and poorly-planned stabilization efforts. One major unintended consequence was the accession to power of pro-Iranian Shia parties.

The so-called Islamic State’s capture of substantial portions of Iraqi territory in 2014 led Iran to send arms, military advisors, and funds to the beleaguered Baghdad government. Iran sent about 1,000 of its elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force (IRGC-QF) to help Iraq fend off the Islamic State challenge, and quintupled its military aid to Iraq to about $1 billion. Much of Tehran’s efforts were devoted to expanding and training several pro-Iranian Shia militias, including the Badr Organization, Kata’ib Hezbollah (Hezbollah Brigades), and Asa’ib Ahl al Haq (League of the Family of the Righteous)—factions that Iran had long supported against Saddam Hussein’s regime and against U.S. forces in Iraq. The collapse of the caliphate will benefit Iran, which is likely to tout its assistance to Iraq and remind the leadership of just how valuable Iranian training and equipment was to Baghdad’s victory over IS.

But the years of strengthening militia groups is now leading directly to other issues. The militias not only have since resisted government efforts to fold into the national security structure, but their commanders and political allies also prospered in the May 2018 national elections. The political clout of these militias ensures that Iran will have significant influence in Iraq even if Prime Minister Hayder al-Abadi, whose faction underperformed in the May elections, is returned to his post when a new government is eventually finalized. The Trump administration is exerting extensive pressure on Iraqi politicians to retain Abadi as Prime Minister, to serve as a counterweight to Iranian and Iran-backed militia influence, but also to protect U.S. interests in a country that 4,500 U.S. military personnel died trying to stabilize.

www.mesop.de

 

 

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS RACE FOR IRAQI PRESIDENT & KURDS

race for Iraqi president gets crowded, as KDP’s Fuad Hussein apparently joins PUK’s (new rejoined) Barham Salih in wanting the post

BasNews English @EnglishBasNews

KDP Nominates Fuad Hussein for Iraq’s Presidency: Report – #BasNews http://www.basnews.com/index.php/en/news/kurdistan/468031  …

MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : SOUTH KURDISTAN / IRAQ – KDP rejects PUK’s Barham Salih as candidate for Iraqi presidency: Mirani

EKURD –  23 Sept 2018 – HEWLÊR-Erbil, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— Fazil Mirani, the politburo secretary for Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) said on Saturday that his party rejects the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s (PUK) pick of Barham Salim as a nominee for the Iraqi presidency.

Mirani said that the KDP leader, Massoud Barzani, will nominate a candidate, setting up stiff competition between the KDP and PUK in Baghdad.“Our candidate will apparently compete against Barham Salih after [they are] appointed by Massoud Barzani,” said Mirani in a statement to the KDP affiliated media.Earlier on Wednesday, a KDP spokesman Mahmoud Mohammed said that his party will field its own candidate for the Iraqi presidency, in response to the PUK picking Barham Salih.Mohammed said in a written statement that the “unilateral” appointment of Barham Salih by the PUK went against a mutual understanding that had developed between the two parties.

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