Political rivals Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Gorran are meeting in Erbil along with their mutual ally the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), bringing together the three main parties of the Kurdistan Region as they are under pressure to resolve deep-rooted issues less than two weeks ahead of a historic referendum on independence.
Top of the agenda at the meeting is reactivation of the Kurdistan parliament.
The majority of Kurdish parties agreed in a weekend meeting of the High Referendum Council to convene the parliament on Thursday, September 14.
Gorran and the Kurdistan Islamic Group (Komal) were not part of that decision as they have resisted joining the referendum council before the vote is given a parliamentary mandate. A flurry of recent meetings has brought the parties closer together after two years of stalemate that paralyzed Kurdistan’s politics after the parliament was shut by KDP in 2015 during a dispute with Gorran.“Their coming to Erbil is a positive step,” Chinar Saad Abdullah, a KDP politburo member, told Rudaw of Gorran’s participation in Tuesday’s meeting.Gorran, which has been reluctant to sit at the table without guarantees, wants parliament to resume normal operations and address key pieces of legislation, not just the referendum issue. A PUK official said that the parliament will have all of its powers without any conditions. “Parliament will immediately begin with those issues that were before it before the parliament was closed.
Nothing is banned,” Saadi Pira said in a press conference on Monday.
He was confident that both Gorran and Komal are on board. KDP insists that Thursday’s session will take place with or without Gorran and Komal. “Under all circumstances, we are going to hold the session on Thursday,” KDP MP Dana Sofi told Rudaw on Monday.Eighty of the parliament’s 111 seats have been secured for the Thursday session, according to KDP leadership member Dilshad Shahab speaking before Tuesday’s trilateral meeting. Gorran’s demands for the parliamentary agenda are reflected in a PUK seven-point project that will see lawmakers consider the issues of salary cuts imposed as part of austerity measures and the controversial presidency law.
On that basis, PUK politburo member Arsalan Bayiz believes Gorran can hold no opposition to reactivating parliament.