From Broad-Base To Dictatorship: As Coalition Fails, Locals Ask Which Form of Government Best for Iraqi Kurdistan
Iraqi Kurdistan has gone through a number of different government formats, from coalitions to power sharing. As the latest version fails, local politicians debate which kind of government is best.
Last week the Prime Minister of the semi-autonomous northern region of Iraqi Kurdistan named four politicians to replace the Ministers that his party had previously dismissed. The dismissed Ministers were members of the Change movement and Prime Minster Nechirvan Barzani’s party, the Kurdistan Democratic Party, or KDP, had accused them of being behind protests that turned violent and deadly earlier in the month.
The current government of the region was voted into life by the Iraqi Kurdish Parliament in June 2014. But the consensus has only managed to last a year – now things are looking rather shaky again as the KDP told the ministers from the Change movement they had lost their jobs and then banned the Speaker of the Kurdish Parliament, also a member of the Change movement, from entering his offices. The appointments of the new members of the Iraqi Kurdish cabinet recently were seen as the final nail in the coffin of what had been the region’s broad-based coalition-style government.
At the time, a broad based coalition was the only option, explains Ali Hussein, a leading member of the KDP. But since then, “the presence of the Change movement inside the [Iraqi Kurdish] government has become a threat to peace in the region,” he told NIQASH.
“The reason for the failure of this model of government is that former opposition parties who joined the administration are still acting as though they are in the opposition,” added Nariman Othman, a senior member of the region’s other major political party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, or PUK. “And the other parties in power treat them like this too.”
In fact, this is only the latest form of government not to work out for Iraqi Kurdistan; the region has been through a number of models of government and none have worked well in the 23 years that the region has had various forms of limited independence within Iraq.