Gorran Loses All Seats in Iraqi Parliament Following Local Elections

by HEVIDAR AHMED 15/5/2013 – ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Among the Kurdish parties that participated under a single banner in Iraq’s provincial elections last month, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) triumphed with the largest number of votes, but voters slaughtered the opposition Change Movement (Gorran),  officials said.

“PUK has won more votes than all the other Kurdish parties,” said Kawseen Babakir, a member and consultant of the PUK’s election office. “Gorran has suffered the biggest vote loss,” he told Rudaw. Out of the total 83,000 picked up by the Kurdish alliance in the four Iraqi provinces where the April 22 elections were held, 35,559 votes went to the PUK, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) won 21,500, Gorran gained only 4,000 and all the other parties combined picked up 20,000 votes. Gorran’s total is less than half the 10,000 votes it won in 2010, which means the party loses all of its seats in the national parliament. Its poor performance is attributed to internal conflicts and the resignations of a number of activists.  “Gorran has had some internal issues, which have directly impacted the party’s votes,” Babakir said. “Gorran’s senior officials are not as supportive of the party as they used to be. They are concerned about the decision making mechanism within their party,” he said. “Some Gorran activists say that decisions are made only by a few,” Babakir added. Recently, critics pointed to the lack of collective decision making inside Gorran.