" The Dinar Daily ".........Thursday, 24 January 2013
KDP Political Bureau Spokesman: Erbil-Baghdad Stand-Off ‘On the Verge of Explosion’
23/01/2013 10:53:00By HEVIDAR AHMED
Jaafar Ibrahim, spokesman and member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) political bureau. Photo: Rudaw
In an interview with Rudaw, Jaafar Ibrahim, spokesman and member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) political bureau, says that his party will continue to stand by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). He adds that his party still backs direct elections for the Kurdistan Region presidency, and that it expects to win the highest number of seats in parliamentary elections scheduled for this year. Ibrahim expresses worries over the Erbil-Baghdad stand-off, saying it is “on the verge of explosion.”
Rudaw: There are a number of complicated problems between Kurdistan and Iraq. What is the KDP doing about them?
Jaafar Ibrahim: For the KDP the current internal affair is very important. How do we deal with this situation and move it forward? That is very important to us.
Rudaw: What do you mean by internal affairs?
Jaafar Ibrahim: The upcoming provincial elections and the issues between ruling parties and the opposition parties. The upcoming provincial election will be a basis for parliamentary elections and the Kurdistan presidency elections. Also, the issues between the ruling and opposition parties, if they continue, will leave a negative impact on Kurdistan. Therefore, these two issues are the most important issues to us right now.
Rudaw: After Talabani’s hospitalization, the KDP’s president and leadership visited Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party several times. Does Talabani’s absence in Iraq pose any danger to Kurdistan?
Jaafar Ibrahim: Talabani has his own importance in the Kurdistan region, Iraq and the whole region. Talabani’s role is necessary for Kurdistan and Baghdad. Besides that, PUK is an important ally to KDP. We value our alliance with PUK. However, KDP believes that there are capable men in the PUK who can replace Talabani. PUK can play its role even when Talabani is away. They can preserve the alliance between KDP and PUK. We were waiting for Talabani to solve the issues between Baghdad and Kurdistan. If the problems deepen, they will leave negative impacts on the Kurdistan Region. Currently, the relation between Arab Sunnis and Shiites is moving towards civil war. The situation between the Kurdistan Region and Iraq is on the verge of explosion. It’s true that there have been meetings, but no concrete results have been gained. Until now, the Iraqi government’s military threat against the disputed areas still exists. There are many worries if the disagreements between the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Region lead to a very unpleasant situation.
Rudaw: After Talabani’s hospitalization what did PUK expect from the KDP?
Jaafar Ibrahim: Both of us have had our difficult times. Whenever PUK has faced a crisis, the KDP has lent a hand and supported it. When the Gorran Movement broke away from PUK, PUK saw that KDP was there and was supporting PUK. And when KDP faces a problem, we will look to our ally, which is PUK, for help. Therefore, whatever PUK was expecting, the KDP has done it. The recent constant visits of KDP to PUK were to assure PUK’s leadership that KDP is there to support PUK and will do whatever it can to support it.
“Therefore, KDP is serious about the time of the elections. The parties have to accept that. If they do not, they only have themselves to blame.”
Rudaw: The opposition asks for the return of the Kurdistan constitution draft to the parliament. What is the KDP’s clear stance on this matter?
Jaafar Ibrahim: KDP believes the constitution has been voted for by the parliament. Any decision or project that is voted for by the parliament will not return to it. That is a parliamentary rule, and it is not up to KDP.
The constitution was not passed in hurry. A number of sessions were held, and the opinions of the people, organizations and experts were taken into consideration. Therefore, we do not think it is right to neglect all of these works. The opposition brothers (Gorran in particular) have only one criticism of the constitution and that is about the Kurdistan political system.
They think the current political system in Kurdistan is a presidential system. But the doors are open to discuss any political system for Kurdistan, as long as national consensus can be reached on that particular system.
We do not want to take the constitution to a referendum and end up dividing the Kurds. The Gorran movement has to be patient. They have to be patient enough to allow political agreements to take place and amend the constitution.
Rudaw: Will the KDP agree that the Kurdistan president should be elected by parliament?
Jaafar Ibrahim: We support direct election of the Kurdistan president by the people. This is very necessary for the Kurdistan region. This does not change the system. In the Kurdistan Region, the prime minister is the head of the executive branch of the government. It is not the president, but the prime minister who holds executive powers. Therefore, direct election of the president does not change the system to a presidential system. In parliamentary systems, the president does not report to the parliament. This is the problem and this is where the misunderstanding comes in.
The president of Kurdistan, whoever it might be, will be more legitimate if elected directly by the people.
Rudaw: So KDP has already made its mind that the president has to be directly elected by the people?
Jaafar Ibrahim: Our view in this regard is that the president should be elected directly by the people. However, KDP does not impose its views. But in the meantime, we will not allow any party to impose its views, either. If a view is in the interest of the people, we will try to accept, even if it is contrary to ours.
Rudaw: Does the KDP think this demand is only made by the Gorran movement?
Jaafar Ibrahim: We say this is what Gorran asks for. The whole idea was created and marketed by Gorran. Sadly, some other people have been convinced. The whole issue revolves around one point, and that is that the Kurdistan president should be elected by the parliament, not directly by the people. They know KDP is the only party who has the chance to win presidential elections if voted for directly by the people. But if the president is to be elected by the parliament, then parliament factions will have their candidates too. We believe Gorran will change their views on this matter, too.
Rudaw: Will Massoud Barzani run for another presidential term?
Jaafar Ibrahim: This is something that is up to Mr. Barzani himself. According to the Kurdistan presidency law, Mr. Barzani can be the president for another term. But this matter has not been discussed in the KDP, yet. In 2005, my opinion together with some of our colleagues in the KDP politburo, was that Mr. Barzani should not run for the presidency. I believe if Mustafa Barzani were alive, he would not accept any posts. This is not to say the posts are not valuable enough, but if he had not run for the posts he could have had more influence and power to untangle knots.
Rudaw: Do you want to all three elections (provincial elections, parliament elections, and Kurdistan presidency election) in 2013?
Jaafar Ibrahim: We support having the provincial elections in the first six months of the current year, and then have the parliamentary and presidential elections done according to their schedules. We know the election was carried out on July 25, 2005 last time, but the parliament session was held at the end of August. Therefore, the time will be counted since then. We think the parliamentary and presidential elections should be carried out in the first week of August. The Kurdistan president has the authority to set the date and he will. Therefore, KDP is serious about the time of the elections. The parties have to accept that. If they do not, they only have themselves to blame.
Rudaw: Has KDP prepared for the elections?
Jaafar Ibrahim: Yes, we have prepared for the elections. We are currently focusing on the provincial elections. We have formed committees and are training our cadres.
Rudaw: Will KDP keep its alliance with PUK for the next election?
Jaafar Ibrahim: That subject has not been determined yet. We will meet with our PUK colleagues and discuss that subject one more time.
Rudaw: How many seats will KDP win in the Kurdistan parliamentary elections?
Jaafar Ibrahim: KDP will win 40 seats if we participate in the elections alone.
Rudaw: Is this the only prediction?
Jaafar Ibrahim: No, but KDP will easily win 40 seats. According to our statistics and surveys we will win 40 seats out of every 100 seats in the Kurdistan parliament.
Rudaw: What are relations between KDP and Gorran like?
Jaafar Ibrahim: We do not have stable relations. There are a lot of fluctuations in our relations. We have tried to stabilize it, but have not been successful. Gorran exercises a policy of pressure and psychological warfare against KDP. It accuses KDP of baseless accusations. We think all these are wrong. They negatively influence the relations between KDP and Gorran. We had bigger expectations from Gorran.
Jaafary, Nijaifi review general political situation in Iraq
Thursday, 24 January 2013 11:50 | | |
Baghdad (AIN) -The head of the Iraqi National Alliance, Ibrahim al-Jaafary discussed with the Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, Osama al-Nijaifi, the developments of the political process in Iraq in a second meeting that gathered them within one week.
A statement by Jaafary's office received by AIN cited that "Jaafary during welcoming Nijaifi at his office in Baghdad discussed the general situation of the political process in Iraq."
"Both sides stressed the necessity to pass the important pending laws and exert more efforts to enhance the national unity and spread confidence among the political blocs," the statement concluded.
Barzani: Expansion of the problems present a threat to the political process in Iraq
Arbil / NINA / Kurdistan leader, Massoud Barzani in the Swiss city of Davos, discussed with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu number of issues of mutual interest.
A statement by the presidency of the province today 24, Jan said that Barzani met in Davos, Switzerland, with the Turkish foreign minister, and discussed with him "strengthening relations between the region and Turkey, particularly in the light of the recent developments on the Iraqi political arena and the deterioration of the situation in Syria and its regional reflections" .
Barzani, regarding the situation in Iraq, he announced that " there should be an end to this situation and restore the political process to its right way ," referring to " the Kurdistan Region with other political forces in Iraq continue their efforts to develop solutions to all issues and problems, because the expansion of those problems presents a threat to the political process in Iraq as a whole. "
With regard to bilateral relations, the statement cited that the two sides expressed their happiness for the level of relations between the Kurdistan and Turkey, stressing the importance of promoting and strengthening ties to serve the interests of both parties and the region in general.
Iraqiya MP: Passing the amnesty law contributes to 75% of the demands of the demonstrators.
BAGHDAD / NINA / The MP, of the Iraqiya coalition, Etab al-Duri said: "that passing the amnesty law will contribute to 75% of the demands of the demonstrators."
She added in a statement to the National Iraqi News Agency / NINA /: "The adoption of this law will be justice for a large number of innocent people who were victims of confidential informant."
She warned from "temporization in the adoption of this law in the House of Representatives," stressing that the delay to approve it would worsen the current political crisis and take it to deadlocked, thus the crisis could get out of control, according to her.
The MP, of the Iraqiya coalition, Ismail Ghazi denied the claim of the Iraqiya to release those who were involved in crimes in the amnesty law, noting that "/ Iraqiya / demanded to include only the innocent detainees in the general amnesty law.
It is mentioned that the amnesty bill submitted by the Ahrar bloc faces reservations from some blocs, in which the State of Law coalition is the most prominent one. Amnesty law has failed to be passed more than once in the parliament ".
Jihad confirmes investigating former armament contracts
Thursday, 24 January 2013 13:19 | | |
Baghdad (AIN) –MP, Hasan Jihad, of the Security and Defense Parlaimentary Committee mentioned that the Integrity Committee launched investigations over the former armament contracts including the contract concluded with Okrain.
He stated to All Iraq News Agency (AIN) "Among the recommendations presented by the Joint Committee to the parliament is to re-investigating the former agreements concluded between Iraq and the other countries including Okrain."
"The former Minster of Defense, Abdul Qadir al-Ubaidi, denied corruption in the contract concluded with Okrain and announced his readiness to come back to Iraq to face such charges," he added.
Meetings over current demonstrations aim at procrastinating masses' demands, says MP
Thursday, 24 January 2013 12:50 | | |
Baghdad (AIN) -MP Talal Hussein of the Iraqiya Slate stressed that the absence of the Slate's MPs from the meetings of the Five-Side Commission that was formed to follow up the demonstrators' demands was to avoid participation in procrastinating those demands.
Hussein stated to All Iraq News Agency (AIN) "The IS did not attend those meetings because they were not at the required level."
"The country lives a state of human rights violation and confiscation of general freedoms, so the problems is with the government performance that prompted the masses to take into streets to demands for political reforms," he concluded.
Russia assures continuity of negotiations with Iraq over debated armament contract
Thursday, 24 January 2013 12:20 | | |
Baghdad (AIN) –Russia assured the continuity of its negotiations with Iraq concerning the debated amrmemnt contarct that is suspected of corruption.
Iranian News Agency quoted the Russian Ambassador to Iraq as saying "The negotiations are going on between the two sides to approve this contract," noting that "The negotiations are still in the first stage."
He stressed "The Russian Government has not problem in cooperating the Iraqi side in the military side," mentioned "This contract will serve the two countries."
Alwani calls to hold next parliament session at demonstration square in revolutionary provinces
Thursday, 24 January 2013 10:10 | | |
Baghdad (AIN) –MP, Khalid al-Alwani, called to hold the next parliament session at one of the squares that witness demonstrations and sit-ins in the revolutionary provinces that revolt against the injustice and marginalization.
He stated to All Iraq News Agency (AIN) "We call to hold the next parliament session at one of the places of the demonstrations on the occasion of Prophet, Mohamed's birth anniversary (PUBH)."
"The parliament will express its solidarity with the masses that conduct sit-ins," he added, noting that "The parliament bylaw allows holding the parliament a place other than the official building."
He emphasized "Keeping on the demonstrations till achieving the goals," reminding the Iraqi Government that "The masses' will is greater than any Government as proved in the Arab Spring revolts during the last two years."
He congratulated the Muslim Nation, especially the Iraqis, on the occasion of Prophet, Mohamed's birth anniversary (PUBH).
Breaking News …Maliki grants IS ministers obligatory vacation
Thursday, 24 January 2013 15:31 | | |
Baghdad (AIN) –The Premier, Nouri al-Maliki, granted the ministers of the Iraqiya Slate an obligatory vacation.
MP, Jamal al-Batiekh stated to All Iraq News Agency (AIN) "Maliki decided to grant the IS ministers an obligatory vacation and to replace them with their replacements within the IS."
The Ministers of the Iraqiya Slate announced after the Slate's meeting at the house of the Deputy Premier, Salih al-Mutleg, on last Monday that they will boycott the session of the Council of Ministers to protest putting off the demonstrators' demands.
Iraqi Parliament to vote on Federal Court law, 2013 budget draft on Saturday
Added by Baghdad Iraq on January 24, 2013.
Saved under Baghdad Politics
Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) -The Parliament will hold its regular session on next Saturday to read and vote on a number of law drafts including the Federal Court and the federal budget of 2013.
Parliamentary source told IraqiNews.com on Thursday “The agenda of next session involves the vote on Federal Court law, and 2013 federal budget draft as well as the first reading for the Ministry of Health’s proposal.”
The parliament has postponed the vote on the Federal Court law draft during last Tuesday session due to lack of quorum.