THE VIRUS OF CORRUPTION IN PUK / Gorran is not staying true to it roots
“Gorran wrestled with the PUK elephant in the Suli area and they managed to pull it to the ground, not because Gorran is stronger ideologically but due to the PUK’s own fragmentation.”
13 Nov 2013 – By Mufid Abdulla: Kurdistan Tribune – The Gorran movement ran its first big campaign in 2009 on the basis of fighting corruption and restoring the Kurdish nationalist movement to its original ideals. Due to the failings of the ruling Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) – which Gorran had split away from – the new movement won 25 seats in July 2009 and it got almost the same number of seats, with more votes, in the parliamentary elections this September.
Gorran wrestled with the PUK elephant in the Suli area and they managed to pull it to the ground, not because Gorran is stronger ideologically but due to the PUK’s own fragmentation.
Kurds have learnt the hard way: “Don’t listen to what politicians say, watch what they do”. The contradiction between public pronouncement and reality is often so gross that it brings the entire political class into disrepute. Recent events have unfortunately proved that Gorran movement MPs are no cleaner than the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) or PUK MPs. When the outgoing Kurdistan parliament ended its session, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which is effectively controlled by the KDP, decided to award a bonus of almost $50,000 dollars to every MP. This was despite their monthly salaries of $7000, plus generous expenses, and even though our schools lack space for their pupils, our students graduate from universities without jobs and our hospitals are short of trainee doctors. MPs from the Gorran movement decided to take the money. They told the public that they planned to donate their windfalls to some project or charity – but there is no independent verification of this. The KDP has succeeded in infecting the Gorran MPs with the corruption virus. In September 2013 there was a big electoral shift in the cities from the PUK to Gorran because so many people were fed up with PUK mismanagement and corruption. Many voters may now feel betrayed. Gorran means ‘change’ and it came to life in 2009 promising change and people voted for it as the face of the future. Instead, however, Gorran’s politicians have become part of the fabric of corruption. Gorran’s elected representatives should serve the people with dedication and hard work and not grab undeserved extra cash for themselves. Gorran now needs to change itself. The current party leadership talks about change but neglects its context and process. Populist in essence, these leaders do not want to make the shift to a modern and democratic organisation. I believe the membership should elect a new team at Gorran’s next conference to restore the movement to its roots.