Should Massoud Barzani remain president?

Saturday, 01/08/2015, 16:59

3753 بینراوە

In the past few weeks, there has been a great deal of talk, agreements as well as disagreements, about whether or not Massoud Barzani should remain in office for another two years. Some people/politicians want Barzani to remain at his post while others are adamant about having Barzani step down once his term expires next month. Observing what is going on in Kurdistan nowadays, and the lack of available seasoned and qualified politicians to replace him, I see absolutely no possible way that Barzani will be replaced and/or be stripped of the power he now enjoys.

It does not matter what my personal thoughts are as I am going to discuss this issue in a logical manner and be opened minded. I have made it very clear in my past writings that I do not support Barzani/KDP, but I feel that the time now is so dire and sensitive, that the Kurdish politicians/citizens in Kurdistan need to come together and have a common voice for the sake of our people’s survival. We are now experiencing not only serious financial shortfall, but we are at war, on many fronts, as well. As if that is not enough, we now have Turkey, with United States blessings, bombing our territory with impunity!


I strongly feel that our Kurdish politicians are not united and there is so much animosities between them and that needs to stop. They do not speak with one common voice even regarding a simplest issue they seem to disagree. Everyday I read in the news a foreign delegation visiting Kurdistan and while there, they visit so many different politicians that truly makes Kurdistan/Kurds seem so unprofessional and primitive. Kurdistan does not need so many different leaders and voices as we do now.

Take for example todays’ visit of Turkish delegation to Sulaymaniyah meeting with PUK and Gorran, but not meeting the KDP in Erbil. Or few days ago, we saw an Iranian delegation visiting Sulaymaniyah, but not Erbil. Erbil should/must be the first and only stop that foreign delegations make when meeting with politicians and decision makers in Kurdistan, but unfortunately that is not the case.

And, last week an American delegation visiting Erbil as well as Sulaymaniyah as if we have two governments in Kurdistan! This reflect extremely poor on the Kurds to have so many “leaders” and yet we only have a hand full of little cities in Kurdistan! It seems that every city, be it Erbil, Kirkuk or Sulaymaniyah have their own little government that does what it wants to do. We have too may leaders calling their own shots and that is very wrong as it sends the wrong signal to the international community about us Kurds.

Coming back to Barzani and if he should remain in office, and I am 100% confident he will remain in office, and discuss this issue a little further. I say that he will remain since I honestly do not see anyone else in Kurdistan that is qualified to take his place and succeed.

Is anyone even talking about taking his place in Kurdistan and we have less than one month to go? Who is qualified and has the proper international experience/exposure, like Barzani, to become president? May be Barham Saleh, as I have heard his name mentioned as a possible candidates? I think not. He has already proven to be a very weak politician when he was the Prime Minister few years ago and he is not qualified for such position and responsibility. During his tenure, he accomplished very little that he could use to promote himself as a strong leader. There are many other unqualified politicians in Kurdistan like Braham Saleh, but no need to mentioned them all as I think I made my point.

Who else can challenge Barzani? With experience and the prestige that Masoud Barzani enjoys internationally, he must/should remain in office for another term. I think the people, including myself, that were/are against Barzani should give it a serious thought and analyze the situation in Kurdistan will conclude that this is the wrong time to disagree/argue with Barzani. Politicians in Kurdistan needs to put their differences aside and work for the benefit of Kurdistan and its survival. Whether we like it or not, Barzani is a strong leader with ample national and international experience and respect and we need to take that in to account before we ask him to step down.

Rizgar Xoshnaw, a senior Kurdish writer based in Washington, a longtime contributing writer and columnist for

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