Kurdistan Parliament Speaker prevented from entering Erbil

Kurdistan Parliament Speaker prevented from entering Erbil
6 years ago

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SULAIMANI – The Kurdistan Parliament’s Speaker was prevented from entering Erbil city on Monday, as tension grows between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Change Movement (Gorran).

A Gorran MP told NRT that a large group of security forces prevented Speaker Yousif Mohammed from entering Erbil at the Pirde checkpoint on the city’s southern outskirts.

Mohammed was turned around at the checkpoint and returned to Sulaimani.

Meanwhile, director of the Peshmerga ministry’s cultural department, Col. Hazhar Mustafa, said he was also prevented from entering his ministry’s building on Monday.  

Relations between the KDP and Gorran are at a low as both parties accuse each other of sabotaging the political process to end an ongoing deadlock over the region’s presidency.

KDP representatives late Sunday informed Gorran MPs, Speaker Mohammed and a ministerial team not to report to work in Erbil the next day.  

Gorran issued a statement following, saying the KDP was attempting to paralyze Parliament and government institutions.

“The KDP Politburo used its representatives in government and Parliament to inform the Speaker and Gorran ministerial team that they must not report to work, and must leave our regional capital,” the statement read.

“The KDP as a political party has no legal or political right to abrogate the lawful and legitimate institutions of the Kurdistan Region or to enforce the wilful decisions of any group or gang on the people of the Kurdistan Region,” the statement further said.

A member of the KDP leadership, Hemin Hawrami, said Gorran would no longer be a part of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

“Gorran is not committed to the agreement that was done to form a government; it acts against the KRG; it burns political offices. So it is not part of the KRG from now on,” he said.

Demonstrators in several towns in eastern Sulaimani province attacked local KDP offices and set several on fire over the weekend.

The head of Gorran’s political section, Mohammed Tofiq Rafiq, told Voice of America’s Kurdish service that no party has the authority dispossess another of any governmental positions.

“It is not in the authority of any political parties to dispossess those governmental positions from Gorran, especially when there is no party with a majority in Parliament,” Rafiq told VOA late Sunday.