Political Bureau: The PUK rejects self-imposition

P.U.K 10:37 AM - 2023-05-23

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PUK KDP Kurdistan Parliament

The Political Bureau of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) has issued a statement saying that the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) side apparently violated all the rules and unilaterally added anomalies to today's parliament session agenda.

The PUK Political Bureau's statement said:

Statement from the Political Bureau of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) to the public and friends of our people's democratic experience

At the onset of the political crisis and stalemate over the issue of democracy and finding legal, national, and appropriate measures for the upcoming parliamentary elections, the PUK called on all parties to engage in a constructive dialogue to work on amending the electoral law and reactivating the Independent High Electoral and Referendum Commission in a manner consistent with the principles of fair and democratic elections. To this end, the PUK was willing to make any kind of national concession to surmount this democratic crisis and deliver the good news of elections and the renewal of our experience to the Kurdish people, each of its communities, and our international allies.

With its patience and openness to reform, the PUK was even forced to agree to extend the parliament's term for it to be formed based on legislation and for all parties to compromise on issues of national significance.

Even at the most recent meeting of the PUK and KDP Political Bureaus on May 21, 2023, it was highlighted that all sides and all factions must agree on amending the electoral law and reactivating the commission. Furthermore, the PUK and KDP meetings have typically underlined that these two issues should be resolved jointly, having taken national decisions collectively to ensure that the positive initiatives and discussions our people and friends wish for are not disrupted.

Unfortunately, the KDP faction disregarded all of these rules and, with the help of the parliament's secretariat, unilaterally added irregularities to the agenda of today's session of parliament without giving the factions a 24-hour notice and without respecting initiative, compromise, or any other attempts to reach an understanding.

The KDP's current actions are entirely irregular and unilateral for the following reasons:

The political parties of the Kurdistan Region had previously agreed that any legislation with a national character should not be handled unilaterally or based on majority and minority principles. Any such law must instead be administered based on national consensus, from creating its draft to adding it to the parliament's agenda. The measure should be discussed, approved, released, and implemented after considering the opinions of political forces and parties.

It violates Article 48, paragraph 4, which mandates that any extra item be requested at least 24 hours before the session. However, the KDP faction added the reactivation of the commission as a new item to the agenda of the Monday, May 22, 2023, session without the speaker's permission through the deputy speaker and secretary of parliament. This is a unilateral action, contrary to all the values of teamwork and nationalism.

It violates Article 18, which deals with the speaker of parliament's authority. The speaker has sole power over the beginning, closing, and adjournment of legislative sessions, according to paragraph 3 of the Constitution.
To reach a national consensus on crucial and delicate problems of political life and regional government, the Parliament Speaker of parliament decided today not to sign the item adding the commission's reactivation to the agenda and closed the session. Despite its political weight, the speaker of the parliament can make this choice because of the powers granted to her by the parliamentary rules of procedure.

Because the Parliament Speaker did not leave the session open for her deputy to continue, any meeting of KDP MPs after the conclusion of the formal session is wholly irregular and without legal standing.

The PUK insists on free and fair elections so that Kurdistan as an entire region can express itself.

Therefore, nothing wrong or unworthy of the experience of our people shall be tolerated for the sake of this democratic will.

Last but not least, we would like to remind all parties that the PUK is not a force that accepts self-imposition and yields to the will of another party, but rather that it is prepared to make any sacrifice for the benefit of the Kurdish people and hold free and fair elections, which is the desire of all political forces, parties, and Kurdish society.


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