Gorran and KDP take steps toward a “strategic relationship”

18.02.2014 – Hemin Saleh – BasNews, Erbil – Following September’s elections in the Kurdistan Region and the current meetings between Gorran (Change Movement) leader Nawshirwan Mustafa and President Massoud Barzani, both sides appear closer to a strategic plan.

September’s parliamentary elections set a new precedent in Kurdish politics when Gorran obtained more votes than the ruling Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), making Gorran the second largest party in the region, after the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). The PUK’s internal turmoil and the absence of party leader Jalal Talabani has made the KDP skeptical about its collaboration with the PUK. While KDP and Gorran claim to function on centralized decision making and unity, critics claim that the PUK is currently failing to do so.

KDP and Gorran are also similar in terms of their wish to export Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) oil. Gorran did not oppose this idea, but did want the process to be done fairly and transparently. PUK-KDP disagreements over other issues such as Syrian Kurdistan and Erbil-Baghdad relations, as well as Gorran having members in the KRG’s Council of Natural Resources, has also pushed KDP and Gorran closer together.

Gorran official AbuBakir Drrayi told BasNews that their relation with KDP will be tactical rather than strategic. “If the relations between Kurdish political parties are good, it has a stable effect on the region and it will remove all the obstacles Kurdish politics is facing,” said Drrayi. He also pointed out that during last week’s meeting between Mustafa and Barzani, both admitted Kurdistan’s prime responsibility to be the formation of a government with improved party relations and a fare share of power based on election results.Drrayi noted that a strategic plan should take place between all political parties and that Gorran and the KDP should have a tactical plan instead of a strategic one.

Member of KDP’s leadership council, Ali Awni, told BasNews that KDP is willing to sign an agreement with any political party if it is in the interest of the people of Kurdistan.

He also noted that the previous strategic plan between KDP and PUK was also in the interest of the people of Kurdistan and all the meetings and agreements should once again serve the people of the region. In the last meeting between KDP and Gorran, Aram Sheikh Mohammed, one of the Gorran delegates told BasNews that one of the themes of the meeting was to strengthen as well as improving their relations in the future.