TODAY’S MESOP SOUTH KURDISTAN : Adham Barzani’s resignation: Barzani family rule begins to crumble?

By Mufid Abdulla: 7-3-2014 – KT – Three days ago Adham Barzani, cousin of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader and President of Kurdistan Masud Barzani, announced on Facebook his resignation from the KDP leadership council. He has told his friends that he is now an ordinary citizen and no longer holds any post inside the party. Sources close to Adham Barzani told the local media that, ever since the parliamentary election of 21st September 2013, he has attended no KDP meetings.

The history of Barzani family feuds has deep roots and what we see now is a reflection of that past. This website reported in 2012 how Abdulmasawar Barzani, another cousin and a lecturer at Suli university, was attacked in Erbil.

There are two lines of explanation for this latest development. First,  Adham Barzani, like some other members of the KDP leadership, is extremely unhappy about what is going on inside the party and, like many in a region dominated by one family, he now believes that lions are being led by donkeys. Second,  there is his background with Masrur and Nechirvan Barzani, the leaders of two rival party wings who, between them, control the entire KDP apparatus. The conflict between the two was highlighted at the KDP’s 13th Conference in 2012 when delegates reported a lot of  intimidation coming from both sides. It continues today with Nechirvan, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) prime minister, wanting to get closer to the Gorran movement, while the president’s son Masrur disagrees and considers Gorran to be the ‘enemy within’. Their differences have grown to the extent that everyone knows about them.

Adham Barzani felt he was being side-lined by a divided leadership that was not taking the KDP forward.  He tried hard but failed to have Sherwan Haydary, the Minister of Justice, removed from the KRG cabinet on the  grounds that Haydary allegedly cooperated with the Saddam regime during its Anfal campaign in the 1980s. He also felt that none of the reforms promised at the 13th Conference were being implemented – there were no moves to bring in younger blood to leading positions and ease out old hands like the 85-year-old politburo member Fazil Mirani.

Given the family history, observers are surprised that Adham Barzani has lasted so long, although some suspect that he may in fact have been expelled from the KDP. That would be reminiscent of Saddam’s approach: if any family member became an opponent, he came after them and demolished them. However, Adham Barzani’s departure will not strengthen the ruling family. Instead their internal divisions will contribute to a loosening of the Barzanis’ grip on power, as with other oppressive rulers in the Middle East.

The post Adham Barzani’s resignation: Barzani family rule begins to crumble? appeared first on The Kurdistan Tribune.