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Al-Qamishli: Progressive Party suspends its membership in Kurdish National Council

KURDWATCH, July 13, 2015—On July 3, 2015, leading members of the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party in Syria stated in a declaration that the Progressive Party was withdrawing its members from all committees in the Kurdish National Council and suspending its membership. The decision was justified on the grounds that alliances were being formed with the goal of marginalizing the Progressive Party. The specific issue was the election of members to the Committee on Foreign Affairs at the last meeting of the Kurdish National Council’s newly elected Council [further information]. A total of seven parties had formed a coalition and made a promise to elect their respective candidates—in most cases the chairmen:
1. the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî) (chairman: Ibrahim Biro);
2. the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S) (chairman: Siʿud Mala);
3. the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party in Syria (chairman: ʿAbdulhamid Hajji Darwish);
4. the Kurdish Democratic Equality Party in Syria (chairman: Niʿmat Dawud);
5. the Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria (el‑Partî) (chair: vacant);
6. the Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria (Democratic Yekîtî) (chairman: Kamiran Haj ʿAbdu);
7. the Kurdish Future Movement in Syria (chairman: Siamand Hajo).
The chairman of the Progressive Party was elected to the committee, but only received 43 votes, while Siʿud Mala had the best result with 59 votes. This led the Progressive Party to conclude that part of the coalition did not vote for its candidate. However the difference in votes could also be due to independent voters or votes from parties outside of the coalition. In the course of the debate about its withdrawal, leading politicians in the Progressive Party’s denied suspicions that its departure is connected to the decision to place the Rojava Peshmerga under the control of the Kurdish National Council [further information].
The Progressive Party is close to the Iraqi-Kurdish Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which in turn maintains close ties to the Iranian government and is in favor of cooperation between the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdish National Council.

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