The KRG must Change

There is deep mistrust between the political forces of Iraqi Kurdistan and the political forces of Syrian Kurdistan. Yet it is primarily Iraqi Kurdistan that needs to change in order to facilitate the creation of an independent Kurdish state in half of Kurdistan, i.e. the Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian sections. 

Feminist democratization and liberalization have been going on for a decade in the AANES (Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria). While a multiparty political system is necessary for there to be liberal democracy, mere elections are in and of themselves insufficient for creating liberal democracy. 

An independent Kurdistan must obviously have a national government and that requires participation of multiple political parties from throughout the new independent state. For the PYD (Democratic Union Party), which rules the AANES, there is no doubt a problem of trust. Will the nepotistic ruling political parties in the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government) try to subvert the process of feminist democratization and liberalization in order to continue to embezzle oil money once an independent state has been established? 

The feminist PYD obviously does not wish to lose the tremendous gains that have been made in status of women and in the process of democratization and liberalization. Therefore, a decentralized federal structure with medium-sized cantons is absolutely necessary to stabilize a new constitutional order in an independent Kurdistan. Democracy must be written into the constitution and a supreme court be established that will be able to overturn undemocratic legislation. This model serves Israel well. An Office for the Protection of the Constitution as in Germany will need to be established that will protect the democratic order. It is essential that gender equality is written into the constitution. 

Drafting a new secularist, democratic, liberal and feminist constitution urgently needs to become be a priority for the political parties of Western, Southern and Eastern Kurdistan. Such a constitution needs to be fully negotiated and agreed upon months before Kurdistan declares independence. The KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party) and the PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) need to show that they are serious about changing course from their current depraved kleptocracy and instead advance a process of feminist democratization and liberalization. 

There is a unique opportunity to create an independent Kurdish state in half of Kurdistan during 2022. However, Syrian Kurdistan is certainly not ready to sacrifice their political achievements in order to get an independent state. For the PYD is content more important than form. Nevertheless, it is clear that this is an opportunity the Kurdish people must not miss out on.

There is a risk that precious time is lost on endless negotiations and hence it is essential that negotiations for the drafting of a constitution are completed before a state is created and not afterwards. Those familiar with modern Kurdish history know that brakuji (Kurdish internecine warfare) is the curse of the Kurds. Therefore, the ruling PUK and KDP political parties of the KRG must show that they are ready for the change required for there to be an independent Kurdish state. The PUK and the KDP are of course aware that the KRG would never have been created and could hardly survive were it not for the support of the United States and Israel. Both the AANES and the KRG exist due to this being in the respective national interest of the United States and Israel. 

No one has any doubt that an independent Kurdistan will become a good friend of America and Israel. What the KDP and the PUK have to prove however, is that they are ready to commit to feminist democratization and liberalization. While it is a joint Kurdistani, American and Israeli interest to bring about an independent Kurdish state in half of Kurdistan, must the KDP and the PUK understand that there is no place for wasting time through endless negotiations. The Barzani and Talebani families are essentially serving at the pleasure of the President of the United States and therefore there must not be further American patience with their corrupt practices, intransigence and failure to lay the foundations for Kurdistani democracy. It is not primarily the AANES that needs to change as the AANES is already doing their homework but the KRG must commit to deep and fundamental changes in order to bring about a unified feminist Kurdish state in half of Kurdistan.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization

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