March 31, 2013 – shaafaq.com – krg.org – MESOP – ERBIL-Hewlêr – : The presidency of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan announced that the President, Massoud Barzani did not ask to extend the mandate of his term.
Omêd Sabah, a spokesman for the Presidency of Kurdistan said in a statement “(NRT) independent Kurdish TV satellite channel broadcasted a news bulletins on Saturday evening 30/3/2013 stated that the President of Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani asked to extend his mandate”. The statement added in response to this news, “we announce that the President of the region did not ask for such a thing”, acknowledging that the news is untrue.
It is worth mentioning that the Presidency of Kurdistan Region decided through elections as it mandate lasts for four-years that in conjunction with the parliamentary elections, according to the laws in force in Kurdistan, the president can nominate himself for three mandates only. The leader of Kurdistan Democratic Party, Massoud Barzani was elected as a president for the region for two consecutive mandates, as the second ends with the end of the current year.
Massoud Barzani and his relatives control a large number of commercial enterprises in Kurdistan-Iraq, with a gross value of several billion US dollars. The family is routinely accused of corruption and nepotism by Kurdish media as well as international observers. Since February 2011, till middle April 2011, thousands of protesters gathered daily in Sulaimaniyah and other parts of Kurdistan against corruption and the lording over Kurdistan region by two main parties KDP and PUK. Kurdish protestors demand the ouster of the local Kurdistan government KRG, calling for improving services and living conditions and fighting corruption.
Most of the demonstrators opposed Massoud Barzani, and the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party KDP. Ten people were killed and more than 700 others wounded and 220 more have been arrested in clashes between demonstrators and Kurdish security forces during a wave or protests that swept Sulaimaniyah. The Kurdish security forces (Asayish) arrested and tortured a lot of activists and journalists.