‘Corruption is authority plus monopoly minus transparency.’
Talk of corruption in Kurdistan has been going on for years. Fighting the endemic corruption though is an uphill battle. Says Mohammed Rahim, senior member of the Gorran (Change) List, that, in fact, one of the main goals of the Gorran movement is to ‘destroy corruption.’ Corruption has led the region into its current state and the people of Kurdistan are disturbed and deeply concerned, he says.
In a recent interview with AKnews, Rahim, spelled out what he feels are the most serious internal threats to Kurdistan. They are corruption, lack of social justice, and limited social services. Corruption at the highest levels has led to the other ‘threats’, such as lack of pure water, limited electricity, few newly paved roads, and a dearth of school buildings.
The rhetoric over corruption and other issues is coming to a head and threatens internal stability. No one wants to relinquish the power and money of elected office. Rahim predicts increased tension in the run up to the March 7 national elections in Iraq, with negative impacts on the political reputation of Kurdistan. But, he says, ‘Gorran will the model to be imitated by other political entities.’
Gorran won 25 of 111 seats in the July 2009 Kurdish Parliamentary elections, and defeated the PUK/KDP coalition in Suleimaniya.
Jumping on the corruption bandwagon, last week Al-Jazeera ran a 24-minute segment on its ‘Inside Iraq’ programme that delved into the issue of corruption in Kurdistan. Host Jassim al-Azzawi interviews Mohammed Ihsan, KRG representative in Baghdad, and Kamal Majid, professor emeritus at University of Cardiff in the UK, a feisty political exile who doesn’t hold back. Click image below to go to YouTube video of the show.
Salih, Mohammed. Iraq: Will elections being stability, or more turmoil? Tehran Times, 13 January 2010.
‘Change’ in exclusive interview with AKnews. AKnews, 02 February 2010.
Opposition movement becomes political party. Kurdish Aspect, 20 January 2010.