Gorran leader Nawshirwan Mustafa dies at 73 after long battle with illness

MESOP NEWS : …. Remembering the wonderful night we had together long ago in Frankfurt Greek Restaurant “Dionysos” – Sleep well ! (MESOP NEWS)

By Rudaw 24 minutes ago  – 19 May 2017 – SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region –The leader of the Change Movement Nawshirwan Mustafa died at the age of 73 in Sulaimani Friday morning just a week after he returned to Kurdistan from the UK where he received treatment for his illness.“With great sadness today the great fighter and the leader of our nation Nawshirwan Mustafa has died at 8:00 o’clock in the morning on Friday after a long battle with illness,” the change Movement said in a written statement.

“The Gorran Movement despite expressing condolences to his family, ourselves, and our nation, reiterate that [we] will follow the path and program of this great leader to serve Kurdistan,” the statement continued.Mustafa will be laid to rest Saturday morning at 10:00, the spokesperson of the Gorran Movement Shorish Haji said in a statement.He will be buried in Gorran Headquarters in Sulaimani based on Mustafa’s will, Haji added. Kurdish and foreign officials expressed their condolences to the death the politician who had been present in Kurdish politics for more than half a century, including Kurdish President Masoud Barzani, and Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.President Barzani offered his condolences to Mustafa’s “family, his relatives, and Gorran members and supporters.”Mustafa’s Gorran movement introduced the first opposition party to the political landscape in the Kurdistan Region in 2009 after it won 25 seats in that year’s parliamentary elections.Mustafa left the Kurdistan Region for the United Kingdom on September, 3, 2016 when Gorran officials confirmed he had gone to the UK to receive medical treatment.

His party won 24 seats in the 2013 general elections and joined the Kurdish government in Erbil. It is currently standing in second place after the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). Mustafa’s wife Shu’la Ali Saeed died in March.He was a founding member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in 1976 by the former Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.Mustafa and Talabani fell out in 2006 and formed the Gorran movement.


Some Gorran supporters have gathered near the party’s main headquarters in Sulaimani, many in disbelief as they were hoping that his return to the Kurdish region could have helped end the years-long political deadlock.Some of the the party’s supporters chanted “he wont die” and “the people of Sulaimani are all Nawshirwan” as they greeted his body that was transferred to a hospital in Sulaimani.

PUK says it is sad with death of Gorran leader, calls for reunion between two parties

The main ruling Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), that Mustafa co-founded with the party’s Secretary General Jalal Talabani in 1976, has paid tribute to the late Gorran leader Nawhsirwan Mustafa who died Friday morning from illness, as it also called for a “reunion” with Gorran in memory of Mustafa’s PUK membership.
It said that Mustafa spent more than half of a century of his life fighting for the Kurdish struggle and took his “historical responsibility.”

The PUK is “sad and is mourning,” a statement from the PUK read.
“Despite the differences between us, we would like to have a reunion as the last solution [for problems] between the PUK and Gorran, as we have said it many times.”

“The soul of Kak Nawshirwan as the old friend of his excellency Jalal Talabani and a fighter and cofounder of the PUK..will rest in peace with this reunion.”
The statement highlighted the party’s alliance agreement that was signed last May in the presence of Talabani and Mustafa, but remained largely unimplemented, with both sides accusing each other of ignoring the 25-article agreement.
It continued to say that they the members and supporters of the two parties will be prepared to take their “democratic and Kurdish struggle duties” that remain to be implemented, including “[independence ] referendum and eventually the independence of Kurdistan.”

Both parties have said that they support the long-anticipated Kurdish referendum on independence expected to be held in 2017,  with Gorran setting the pre-condition of the reactivation of the Kurdistan parliament in order to give their blessing to the referendum.

The Kurdistan parliament has not convened since October 2015 when the tensions rose high between Gorran and the KDP, which is also a strategic ally of the PUK since 2007.The Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani offered his condolences to the Mustafa’s family, Gorran party and its supporters. He hoped that the Gorran members and their supporters “continue to serve Kurdistan and the common objectives of our nation.” Spokesperson of the Kurdistan Regional Government, of which Gorran is member of the coalition government, expressed his “heartfelt condolences.”