Secretary-General of Kurdistan Islamic Union talked to Al-jazeera Channel, in Feb. 22. Salahaddin Mohammed Baha’addin, Secretary-General of KIU attended in the “Thaef Al-Montasaf” on Al-Jazeera channel. The show was about upcoming elections, and issues between Kurdistan Region and Baghdad.
Secretary-General of KIU declared they have decided to participate separately this election, that KIU has its own list, in contradiction to elections for Kurdistan Parliament. Secretary-General mentioned that KIU has an experience in separate list, which it had attended in Iraqi Parliament election separately in 2005.
The TV presenter asked Secretary-General don’t you think that would be better to have an alliance? Alliance with Islamic parties in Kurdistan Region?
Secretary-General answered the question that “in an internal referendum and our leaders’ perspective, we believe that working together is important but it does not reality for all situations and eras. The last experiment in Kurdistan Parliament election, we could be successful in some areas and lose in others. The organs of KIU asked to participate in this election separately, to compete with other lists in this region. We expect that this way in participating elections will be better and more sufficient.
The interviewer asked him, this way of participation in election, does not lead to hurt Islamic seats, while there is a strong alliance between the two main secular parties?
Salahaddin Mohammed Baha’addin affirmed that they do not wand and they do not believe in ideological division in this region. We do not believe in ideological, religious and ethical divisions. Secretary-General of KIU said that “we are potentially doing not believe in making an Islamic or Secular List. If others who are working like that, but we did not do that and we do not need it.
In response to the question of the situation election campaigns in Iraq, Secretary-General of KIU said that “The upcoming elections is a strategically election for the situation and political situation of Iraq. Therefore, all parties and lists are campaigning warmly. In the Kurdistan Region, all lists are campaigning warmly for their list and their candidates. The candidates are campaigning for themselves. Therefore, there is an active campaigning for elections, and violations are not so harmful yet.
In response to another question that TV presenter asked why religious parties have control over the south and in the north secular parties have control.
Salahaddin Mohammed Baha’addin said “it has historic reasons. Iraqi and Kurdistan movements were leaded by Islamic elites. After the establishment of KDP party by Mulah Mostafa Barzani, he leaded the national movement in Kurdistan. After 1970s secular parties took the power of leading national movements. At that time, Muslims were involving with educational and ethical concerns, and they didn’t care about politics. They believed that protecting our identity is necessary. That is true that there are Islamic parties in power in Iraq, but there are comments on the way that they work. We, as KIU, have experiment that Islamic parties have national agenda with inspiration by Islamic texts”.
Secretary-General of KIU expects that “as a result of upcoming elections, there will be change in balances among political, religious and ethical parties in Iraq. There was a change in balances in the elections of provinces, which some alliances and coalitions have separated”. He mentioned that “It might be decrease in religious parties’ seats in Parliament, but it will not happen because they are religious. It will happen because of their way of political activity”.
Salahaddin Mohammed Baha’addin in response to the question about Samaree’s visit to Arbil said “there is negotiation between Islamic Party that represents itself in Ayad Samaraee and Kurdish parties. But I think making new coalitions will be delayed to after elections and after results of elections”.
Secretary-General of KIU talked about the situation in Suly, he said “there is tension between PUK and Change List in Suly, but it did not lead to conflict. The security committee in the city has decided to restrict the time for campaigning in order to decrease these tensions. Despite of that there is some conflict between youths in the city. God willing we hope it does not lead to further violations”.
The interviewer asked him about his expectation for the result of KIU in upcoming elections. Secretary-General of KIU said that “in reality, elections evaluate political parties work. In the last years, PUK and PDK had their own list, Kurdistan Coalition List, and we had our own list, KIU list. The KIU list in the COA has been working very well as evidenced by all. We hope that people know that and we will get good results in upcoming elections”.
Secretary-General of KIU mentioned the distinguish between KIU and other parties in Kurdistan Region; he said “we are political party affected by Islamic views. We have good relations with Iraqi parties, and our relations with them does not established on interests. These relations established on serving Iraq situation. That is reality that we are in Kurdistan Region, but it does not prevent us to be Iraqi and to participate in political activities and removing ethical divisions and all other issues that are firstly Iraqi issues before being related to political parties”.
Secretary-General of KIU talked about the issue of Kirkuk. He said “according to history and geography, Kirkuk is Kurdish city. Bu in the current political situation Kirkuk has its own specialty. We believe that Kirkuk Oil is the main reason for its issues. According to constitution, the oil is for everyone in Iraq, and most disputed areas are Kurds. We believe that an administration should be made that it would be leaded by every community in the city. The article 140 should be activated and the situation of this city should be normalized. The social situation of this city is helpful. Different communities in the city do not have any problem with each other. The problem is political parties’ interests and political interferences. We believe that we could benefit from the society itself to solve this issue, and we can do referendum and the issue could be solved if the political parties’ interference restricted”.
Watch the interview here