Thursday, September 16, 2010

As Nawshirwan Mustafa dithers, Gorran supporters should not lose hope

September 16, 2010 - By Mufid Abdulla

A report has recently been published by local Kurdish newspaper Awena stating that Nawshirwan Mustafa has headed outside of Kurdistan, possibly to one of the Scandinavian countries, which is notable considering the fact he has not been out of the country for a considerable amount of time. According to the report, this can be linked to the present situation inside the Gorran movement. The seriousness of the event cannot be doubted, but there have been times when the reaction has been excessive. These are troubled times for Nawshirwan Mustafa, but I fear worse is to come. There is no evidence of a timetable for the conference to vote on the terms and programmes of the party which he set up a few months ago. There are no ideas or intentions for the elected Gorran leadership being announced. During the 2009 campaign Nawshirwan Mustafa used his great gift of oratory to sweep to victory by winning 25 seats in the Kurdistan Parliament. There is a growing sense in Sulaymaniyah that the headquarters of the Gorran movement and its leader, an old member of the PUK, has defected to Gorran in the last year for some personal gains. Unfortunately these people find their presence resented inside the Gorran movement. Most of these people have had responsibility inside the PUK and have been involved with mismanagement and corruption. Their lavish lifestyles, mansions, good salaries, and expensive cars are obvious to most of the people in Kurdistan.But now they are working with Gorran.

The chaos inside the Gorran movement has increased to such an extent that it has hindered all progress. Nawshirwan’s inability to get a firm grip on the deeply emotional issues involved is raising further questions about his leadership. Nawshirwan’s ponderous response was in stark contrast to the sure–footed approach of newcomers and intellectuals inside Gorran having raised two questions. Firstly: does Nawshirwan Mustafa really belong as a leader of today or is he still a statesman living in the past? If the change movement needs any kind of democratic reform then it should start inside their party and nowhere else. Secondly: does he really, support and advocate his old friends coming from the PUK to the Gorran movement for only one reason which is to sustain a continuous leadership?

There is no soft option when confronting corruption leaders. Setting up an organisational framework and programme is a real challenge for the existing Gorran leadership who at present do not appear to be up to that job.

Gorran’s grassroots should be able to persuade Nawshirwan Mustafa about a repugnant stunt. Gorran supporters should not conceal their thirst for democratic reform and an elected leadership. Nawshirwan Mustafa cannot carry the organisation forward alone: the Gorran movement needs a strong and stable committee leadership consisting of newcomers to the movement, not the PUK defectors. The Gorran movement requires appropriate and effective responses from policy makers across a wide spectrum of Kurdish society.

Finally, perhaps Nawshirwan Mustafa’s judgement should be called into question if it is deemed that the Gorran movement will be unable to cope with his style of leadership when he is caught between an old style of PUK leadership which they are now trying to work inside the Gorran movement. Perhaps it is time for a new fresh approach of others inside the movement, including that of a new younger generation which has moved away from civil war and come to Gorran with hopes for the establishment of a democratic institution for the Kurdish people.