Milletpress / AFP / REUTERS – ERBIL-Hewler, 11 March 2015 – Former leading council member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party KDP and Massoud Barzani’s cousin, Adham Barzani, stated that extending Massoud Barzani’s presidential term is against the laws and regulations of Kurdistan region. In an interview with the independent Awena Newspaper, Adham Barzani said that he had already warned Massud Barzani from requesting another extension from the parliament. Adham Barzani critised other senior members of KDP for obeying whatever the leader says and not having their own opinion on any decision; added this will create a dictatorship.

Massud Barzani has led Kurdistan region as president for two executive terms and his last term was extended by ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) for two more years on the condition that he can no longer run as president. Barzani has set to stay in office for another two years in 2013, after Kurdish lawmakers voted in July 2013 to extend his tenure amid scuffles in parliament and an outcry from opposition parties.

Barzani approves the extension of his 3rd mandate as president of Kurdistan late July 2013. President Barzani in April 2014 sets condition to leave power and said he was ready to leave power only if the Kurdish enclave parties reach an agreement over the way to govern Iraq’s autonomous region of Kurdistan. Most of the political parties in Kurdistan region are against extending Barzani’s presidential term which will be against the laws and regulations of the region. For decades, the KDP of regional president Massoud Barzani and the PUK of Iraq’s President Jalal Talabani have lorded over the region.

Massoud Barzani and his relatives control a large number of commercial enterprises in Iraqi Kurdistan, 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.

Korek Telecom, owned by Sirwan Barzani, nephew of Kurdistan president Massoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), was established in 2001 in Kurdistan region and has millions of customers. Need to be mentioned that between February-April 2011, thousands of protesters gathered daily in Sulaimaniyah and other parts of Kurdistan against Massoud Barzani, 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.