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Al-Qamishli: Youth representatives to the Kurdish National Council elected

KURDWATCH, February 20, 2013—On February 2, 2013 in al‑Qamishli, seventy-five representatives of thirty-five Kurdish youth organizations, only two of whom were women, elected ten delegates to the Kurdish National Council. The Union of Cooperation of Kurdish Youth in Syria, as the largest organization, was represented with nine seats at the respective conference. In contrast, the PYD-affiliated youth groups did not take part. The SAWA coalition and Avahî also did not take part, as both are members of the Syrian National Council and would have had to leave that council in order to be allowed to participate in elections for the Kurdish National Council. The Youth Conference was organized by a committee of the Kurdish National Council, which included, among others, the chairman of the Kurdish National Council, Faisal Yusuf, and Ismaʿil Hami, Secretary of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî). All of the delegates elected at the Youth Conference are affiliated with the Kurdish Democratic Political Union—Syria. According to an activist, this group was far better prepared than the independent youth groups, whose representatives hardly knew each other and had not made any agreement to elect common candidates. Therefore many representatives of smaller groups elected the Union’s candidates. Another independent activist told Kurdwatch, »If we had voted for representatives of the Democratic Yekîtî or the Advancement Party, we could have just as well have given our vote to the PYD«. The Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî) and the Kurdish Advancement Party in Syria are frequently accused of being to close to the PYD or the regime. Political goals and strategies were not discussed during the conference. Prior to the conference, problems arose because the time and place of the conference had been changed the day before without informing all participants. Those present, however, decided, to wait for those who were missing in order to prevent another failure to elect youth representatives. This election originally was supposed to take place on January 28, 2013. Due to disputes within the parties of the Kurdish Democratic Political Union—Syria, which accused one another of colluding to manipulate elections, the first conference had to be cancelled.

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