Kurdistan Regional Government
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Inauguration Speech of Dr. Kamal Kirkuki speaker of the Third Kurdistan Parliament

THU, 20 AUG 2009 19:19 | KRG Cabinet

Speech by Dr. Kamal Kirkuki

Speaker of the Third Kurdistan Parliament

First session of the Third Parliament – 20 August 2009

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate
In the name of the Kurdish People

Your Excellency Mr. Masoud Barzani, President of Kurdistan Region,

Your Excellency Mr. Kosrat Rasul, Vice- President of Kurdistan Region,

Your Excellency Mr. Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister of Kurdistan Regional Government,

Your Excellency Mr. Imad Ahmed, Deputy Prime Minister of Kurdistan Regional Government,

Your Excellency Mr. Adnan Mufti, Speaker of Second Kurdistan Parliament,
Excellencies, Ambassadors, UN Representatives,

Ambassadors of the US, UK, Islamic Republic of Iran, and other countries,

Dear Leaders and representatives of Political parties in the Kurdistan Region,

Secretaries and politburo members of the political parties,

Mr. Madhat Mahmoud, Chief Federal Judge,

Dear Distinguished guests, religious scholars, judges, intellectuals and journalists,
Welcome everybody.

First and foremost, I would like to extend my greetings and respect for the pure spirit of the esteemed martyrs of Kurds and Kurdistan as well as of Iraq. I would like to salute each and every male and female Peshmerga wherever they are.

I would also like to extend my salutation to all those who are living abroad but whose hearts are connected to the Kurdistan Region. I salute all the people of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, bearers of a clean and free thought.

Dear guests, I would like to welcome you all to the opening session of the Third Kurdistan Parliament…you are most welcome.

Esteemed attendees,
On my behalf and on behalf of the presidency of this new parliament, I would like to seize this opportunity to congratulate the Kurdish people and all the people of Iraq on the occasion of the success of the electoral process for the Kurdistan Parliament and the Kurdistan Region Presidency. I wish to congratulate the esteemed and beloved President of the Kurdistan Region, Mr. Masoud Barzani.

I hereby extend my utmost salutation to each and every MP of the second parliament, especially His Excellency Mr. Adnan Mufti, Speaker of second Kurdistan Parliament. We should benefit from their experience and expertise. We should highly appreciate the efforts and hard work of all those who played vital roles in establishing and acknowledging this democratic political system of the present Kurdistan which has become the source of pride for all the loyalists and advocates of democracy for our people.
I would like to express my gratitude to the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government His Excellency Nechirvan Barzani, his deputy, as well as all the esteemed ministers who all played significant and effective roles to institute democracy and develop the experience of the Kurdistan Region.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This new parliament, like the first and the second parliaments, is a diverse one in the sense that it constitutes Kurds, Turkomans, Chaldeans, Assyrians and Armenians. In terms of religion, it contains Muslims, Christians and Yezidis. Politically, this new round comprises representatives of 15 different political parties, groups and blocs - all of whom have taken their seats in the new parliament. For this, the Kurdish people are proud. Also, the female participation is 35%, and many of the MPs are below 40 years of age, with different backgrounds and qualifications.

This diversity reflects the Kurdish community and is a realistic expression of our people. We hope that we will prove worthy of the trust that the Kurdish people have placed in us through this free and successful elections process.

Hopefully, the new parliament will come up with an increasingly active and effective parliamentary model, adding another successful experience to our previous parliament and maintaining cooperation and developing efforts to promote the democratic system of the Kurdistan Region.

From this perspective, we are hopeful that all the lists, of whatever stance, will contribute actively, transparently and positively to the lively democratic system in the Kurdistan Region. Like any other parliamentary democratic system, the present lists will hopefully work with the other authorities, especially the upcoming government, with the principles of compatibility, cooperation and monitoring; with a view to thereby protecting achievements and advancing the country towards a better direction of institutionalization, rule of law, and respect for human rights, as well as serving our people.
To achieve this, the parliament should improve the quality of performance through planning and activating the committees in which the major blocs have to participate. The scarcity of time should be respected, and we have to utilize our time positively for better productivity so that we can establish and promote democracy as well as accelerate the implementation of projects. In addition, there should be coordination and interaction among the lists on the basis of mutual respect, taking into account our patriotic objectives. This will not only activate the parliament, but also positively affect other authorities and the community at large.
It is worth mentioning that there are many things in common among the lists elected to the parliament. This will assist them as they form a shared agenda to implement. We believe that this approach will push us to feel responsible for the current demands, and to feel happy with a clear-conscience in front of god and the Kurdish people.

Dear attendees,
Many attempts are underway to overturn the achievements and the democracy of Kurdistan Region and to present a distorted image to Iraq and to the world. Lest the realities be distorted, it is worthwhile and important that on this historic day we clarify some points. For instance, the claim that constitutional Article 140 is no longer valid. This article has been established as a solution for the disputed territories. As long as the disputes are not settled, can the proposed solution for this settlement be closed, leaving the problem unsolved or more complicated? Obviously, every peace seeker and democratic person will say no.

Some blame the Kurdistan constitution, despite the fact that this constitution has been prepared in a normal, legal process and is the constitutional right of the people in the Kurdistan Region. Also, all the articles are compatible with the articles stipulated in the permanent constitution of Federal Iraq. Some claim that in the Kurdistan constitution the disputed territories have been put within administrative and political boundaries of Kurdistan Region. In reality, the second article of the Kurdistan constitution states rather transparently that, according to the documents of the League of Nations, the maps and geographic books of the Ottoman Empire and of the Dutch the Germans, the world according to the Arab geographic experts from the sixteenth through the twentieth century, the geographic books of the Egyptian schools after the First World War, all have agreed that these territories are called ‘Kurdistan.’ The Kurdish territories which are disputed have been stipulated in Article 140, according to which the indigenous people have been allowed their rights to decide on the administrative destiny of their area in a free and independent referendum. No decisions should be taken to include such disputed zones in the administrative boundaries of the Kurdistan Region without the will of the residents of such zones.
We all call for a peaceful and democratic solution of the disputes that are facing our people, without resorting to bloodshed and violence.
It had long been said that only the only friends of the Kurds were the mountains. But today we say that there is a real friend of the Kurdish nation and the Kurdish people, and of every freedom seeker, wherever he may be – and that is genuine democracy.

With the support of god and the people of the Kurdistan Region, we give our word to you that we will spare no effort to work with the utmost loyalty and to protect the high interests of our land and our people, as well as to be true to the oath that we took today: that we should strive to shoulder this great responsibility that we have accepted in the most modest and realistic manner, without the slightest discrimination among the different opinions within the parliament.

It is true that winning this election pleases us. But the real pleasure and more sacred achievement will come from substantive success, in the interest of the people and the country.

I wish you all the best.

Once more, I would like to welcome you all and many thanks for privileging us with your trust.

See also the photo gallery:
  • Opening of the Third Kurdistan Parliament
  • Swearing in of the Speaker and MPs

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