PUK IN FATAL TROUBLE : Iraqi Kurdistan’s PUK, from negotiation table to media war

11-2-2014 – KNNC Net – SULÊMANÎ, Kurdistan region ‘Iraq’,— The internal conflicts among the different fronts of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) concerning holding the fourth convention has lessened the chance to make the high ranking official to sit on the table. Their disputes have transferred to the media, the Kurdish daily Hawlati newspaper reports.

Statements to the media from the main deputies have intensified PUK‌’s internal partition over the division of the posts and has weakened their internal unity, despite attempts from other high PUK officials to mediate and solve the issues.

There is belief that the transformation of their internal conflicts to the media is a sign that the officials are not able to preserve the unity of the PUK. Ever since the deterioration of Talabani‌’s health in 2012, two important things have been left unsolved: first, holding the fourth convention. Second, General Secretary Post. Deputy Secretary General Barham Salih‌ recently said he is just an ordinary member- statement on January 14, 2014, which was about the PUK‌’s issues and his discontent and resignation, was the starting point of revealing PUK‌’s internal conflicts. On 27/1/2014, Hero Ibrahim, politburo member, in a visit to the General Assembly of the PUK refuted rumors that she was against holding the fourth convention. “I am not against holding the convention and am trying my best to pass this stage and achieve understanding for holding the convention” Hero confirmed.

Shortly after that statement and on 31/1/2014, the Leadership Council and the General Assembly, allegedly under the influence of Hero Ibrahim, in a meeting in Slemani decided to delay the convention until “PUK‌s situation is suitable”.The two Deputy Secretary Generals of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Kosrat Rasul and Dr. Bahram Salih, in a joint statement said that they did their best and suggested some thoughts to their fellow PUK members to solve the conflicts but “unfortunately, efforts were unproductive”.

Mustafa Chawrash, PUK‌’s Leadership Member, says that the ‘unity’ of the PUK is important to them and that all the members should keep it. “We are not supporting anyone and try to unite all. Whoever wants to harm the PUK, will harm themselves” Chawrash adds. “The statements that reached media outlets means that there are issues”.

Wasta Rasul, PUK Leadership Member, says that issuing the statement was wrong. But it is human nature that everyone wants to look stronger. Inside the PUK, there is political affiliation for specific officials. “Preserving the unity of the PUK is necessary for the internal situation of the Kurdistan region and its neighboring countries. If the PUK face any split, surely it will have an effect on the Kurdistan region and endanger the situation.” Dr. Shorsh Hassan, Lecturer at the University of Sulêmanî, explains that the division of the PUK and issuing statements is to attract the sympathy of the PUK‌’s members especially as Kosrat Rasul, Barham Salih and Hero Ibrahim want to become the General Secretary of the PUK.