Seizing on Egypt tumult, Kurdish splinter party calls on Iraqi regional govt to resign

Sulaimaniyah, January 31: An opposition party in Iraq’s Kurdish north is calling on the regional government to resign, saying protests in the Arab world should be a wakeup call for its leaders.

The reformist group called Gorran, Kurdish for “Change,” said Sunday that the ruling parties in the three provinces comprising the semiautonomous northern region are corrupt and don’t represent the people.

The parties — the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party — quickly rebuffed the appeal and said Gorran was trying to take advantage of the situation in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere. But they promised reforms.

The ruling parties in the Kurdish region, which was relatively peaceful during Iraq’s war, have maintained a firm grip on power despite allegations of corruption and media intimidation.