Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Major Kurdish Opposition Party Receives Money From Govt


RUDAW News Agency

SULAIMANI, Iraqi Kurdistan: Even though the newly elected parliament has not approved a new budget law yet, the major opposition movement has kept receiving money from the regional government here in Iraqi Kurdistan for months.

Gorran-meaning Change in Kurdish- emerged as the biggest opposition party in the history of politics of the Iraqi Kurds in last year’s July elections with gaining 25 seats in the 111-seat parliament.

A high-ranking official with Gorran said that the movement has been paid 680 million Iraqi Dinars (ID) per each of the past three months by the local government headed by Barham Salih, who is a member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan from which Gorran splintered

The official said Gorran has been unsatisfied with the amount of money it is granted comparing to another opposition Islamic party which gets 450 million ID per month despite have only 6 seats.

Gorran is waiting for the approval of a budget law that determines the budget of each political party based on the number of seats they have gained.

“We have made a decision to accept the money to manage our works, until the budget law is passed" said the official who did not want to be named because he was not authorized to talk about the party’s budget with the media.

Gorran, which did also relatively well in the Iraqi elections held in March, has another problem to be solved with the Kurdish ruling parties. It wants to restore hundreds of its affiliated employees fired by the ruling parties mainly Talabani’s PUK in government and government and state positions.

Both the president of Kurdistan, Massoud Barzani and Prime Minister Salih have promised to restore the fired employees.

Gorran aggress that some of its members are back on their job, but it says there are many others remaining unemployed.

Gorran is headed by Nawshirwan Mustafa, former deputy leader of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani’s PUK. He left the party after accusing it of being involved in “unmanageable” corruption and nepotism.