Market intervention and monopoly; Gorran under new wave of internal criticism

25-08-2020 08:01
The concerns are on the table of General Coordinator Omar Said Ali

Peregraf- Surkew Mohammed

New objections have arisen within Gorran Movement concerning market intervention and "dirty deals" with projects, mediated by Gorran (Change Movement) team in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), this is according to three senior and aware sources to Peregraf. Gorran, however, is continuously claiming that it participates in Masrour Barzani’s cabinet according to an agreement aimed at reform and public interest.

Intervention and monopoly by political parties and powerful characters in the labor market and projects have been a criticized concern and a source of corruption throughout Kurdish governance. And this phenomenon still persists to this moment.

"Unfortunately, Gorran is doing worse than the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in market intervention and monopoly. Gorran’s senior officials have been informed but they don’t have the power to solve the problem," said the source with knowledge of the issue. The source, who spoke under condition of anonymity, gave a further explanation and said, "the issue has reached a point that when an investor tells them an idea for a project, they take it and discuss it with other investors in exchange for an amount of money."

The source also said that "there certainly is evidence from Gorran ministerial team that projects are being monopolized and dealt secretly. In some cases, investors have been asked to contact a young tradesman who works for Nma Nawshirwan and Chia Nawshirwan (sons of late Nawshirwan Mustafa, founder of Gorran), and who works under the name of Gorran"

Perergraf has followed the case within Goran. Even though Gorran officials evade from talking by their names, but some of them were ready to give information, as they say, "for the sake of Gorran’s interest and staying on the right path."

Two senior and knowledgeable sources in Gorran confirmed to Peregraf that intervention in market and projects "has caused protest within Gorran to the level of Executive Council and the General Coordinator."

As recent examples, the sources mentioned the fate of "two valuable pieces of land" in the city of Sulaymaniyah that are being aimed at by some competitive investors to have projects on. The lands belong to the Ministry of Trade and Industry whose minister is from Gorran.

"The fate of the two pieces of land shows traces of dirty deals out of competition, and the issue has been discussed with the minister of trade and industry," said the knowledgeable source.

Another source said, "It is true that rumors are spreading about those two lands, but as far as I know they have not been given to anyone yet, but if dirty dealings are made, it would be terrible and would have negative consequences on Gorran."

According to the sources, one of the lands located at the old Sulaymaniyah refinery which is 30 Dunam (around 75,000 m2), the other is located behind the old Sarchnar Cement Factory and is 50 Dunam (125,000 m2).

For three consecutive days, Peregraf tried to reach out to Kamal Salim Minister of Trade and Industry to talk to him concerning the issue, but there was not any answer after many calls and messages. On August 24 someone called through the minister’s number and introduced himself as (Nawzad, coordinator of minister’s office). Peregraf informed him that it had several questions to the minister and the person said, "I have his mobile and I would inform him." But after 24 hours from that call, there has been no reply from the minister.

Some officials of Gorran consider "transparent and legal" investment as their right in order to strengthen the financial situation of the party. And as their primary step, they gave priority to establish a satellite TV which has been closed for a year.

A Gorran official close to Nawshirwan’s sons told Peregraf that he has not heard that they [the sons] would do "dirty deals and interventions," he adds "be sure that they do not do any wrongdoings and Gorran ministers do not do illegal dealings."

Market monopoly and intervention are a beneficial source for the parties participating in government and that is why KDP, PUK and other parties would do the same when they are in government.

Gorran Movement is experiencing a financial crisis and cannot pay its employees on time even though it has fewer institutions and employees compared to other parties. During its 11 years of existence, it has not managed to establish an economy to live on.

Eradicating corruption and dissociation of political parties’ hands from the market and monopoly was the main slogan of the Gorran Movement since its foundation in 2009. However, now market intervention and monopoly has risen as an issue within the movement, and objections from the movement have increased and if the problems left unsolved, the objections would lead to different kinds of stance.