Slemani has always been known as the city of rebellion and the capital of culture. It was and still is a crucial place for Kurdish nationalism and thought. It prides itself of how strong and capable its youth are and what they can achieve. Although a relaxed city in terms of culture and societal richness, it has been the centre of opposition towards the Kurdistan Regional Government. When the KRG decided to stop civil workers’ salaries and make itself less transparent, it ended up becoming one of the most corrupted institutions in the region. They stop providing common folk with basic necessities of life and rule of law. The province of Slemani in general was heavily affected by these irreversible actions and this initiated many protests among civilians.
With current developments, the disunity between the Erbil and Slemani is at an all time high. While many stress for one total administration to run things, it is evident that such program never took place. Political parties like Gorran have not been able to execute all its rights and projects, instead were blocked from doing anything that they vowed to do. A call for a separate region headed by a joint government of majority voted parties in Slemani, Gorran and PUK, will prove to be a very beneficial move. For one reason, these parties can go about their own governing without the corrupt hand of KRG interfering in their politics. This new region would also play a much better and recognised role in democratic talks with Baghdad. It could also work towards more economic plans that could help its situation become better. None of these things can be reached with Erbil holding all the power and not sharing it amongst other cities.
Many are against this move, fearing the Kurdish dream of statehood will die with it. I will be one of the first people to stand behind this move, as I can firmly understand this is actually a new road towards independence. With the current failed government, not Baghdad and not any other country are serious about talks for independence. Baghdad is not even willing to implement Article 140, because they fear the government will practice racist ideology and break apart Kirkuk’s diverse community. Economically speaking, if such region were to emerge, it would be a marvel. Rich in minerals, historically the main producer for wheat in all of Iraq, it could regain its status as a powerful province. A new region would also prevent another civil war amongst Kurds, as then it would be two totally different administrations dealing more naturally with one another. It is high time a move like this becomes a reality, so we can determine a better path for our people who have been suffering for long. The current government has been ailing since 2003, it is time for a reorganisation and a new approach to governance.