THE FINAL DAYS OF PUK ? (MESOP) / Alliance change: KDP prefers Gorran to PUK

Hemin Salih – BasNews (Erbil): 26-11-2013 – The president of Iraqi Kurdistan and leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Massoud Barzani, met with Nawshirwan Mustafa, head of the main opposition party, Gorran. The two parties will work together, as Gorran takes on the role of region’s second political force, instead of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

According to media reports, the meeting between Barzani and Mustafa partly dissipated the tension that has been forming over the past four years. In past, Gorran has been the biggest critic of the KDP, while Barzani has often accused Gorran of  corruption and of monopolizing power. According to a source within Gorran, two committees  will be formed. One of them will supervise Gorran’s affairs in the government, as well as their agenda,  while the other will look at Gorran’s rights as the second party in Kurdistan.

“The situation has changed and the power balance has shifted. KDP will work with Gorran, in order to ensure the region’s stability,” an official from the KDP told BasNews, on condition of anonymity.

In September’s elections, KDP won the majority votes, coming first with 38 seats; ahead of Gorran, which took 24 seats; Talabani’s party finished third with 18 seats. Gorran was formed in 2009, when then PUK member Mustafa split from Talabani’s party, and was followed by a number of officials. Since then Gorran has won majority votes in the Suliaymania province, known as the stronghold of Gorran and the PUK. “The KDP’s cold attitude towards the PUK comes as a result of recent PUK actions, such as the PUK not backing the leading party on key issues; including KDP policies towards Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD),” explained the official. Dilshad Shahab, member of KDP leadership council, has said that the recent talks between KDP leaders and Gorran has normalized the situation.