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New Generation President Abdulwahid responds to criticism from Movement lawmakers

Disputes allegations of mixing politics, family, business
2019-04-25

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SULAIMANI — New Generation President Shaswar Abdulwahid said during an appearance on NRT’s Tawtwe interview program on Thursday (April 25) that the Movement would overcome the controversy that has arisen in recent days.

Abdulwahid said that Movement lawmakers who had leveled criticism at the leadership had not discussed the matter with him either directly or indirectly.

He went on to dispute their assertion that the Movement was mixing family, politics, and business.

“We have had no issues with these lawmakers. We, however, spend most of our time together. I don’t know why they did that. They haven’t yet expressed protests to me officially or unofficially.”

“Why didn’t they say the decisions were unilateral when I made decisions to make them lawmakers and heads of caucuses?”

This contradicts statements from New Generation lawmakers serving in the Council of Representatives who said that they had raised the issue with Abdulwahid.

In a statement on Monday, they said that the Movement was in danger of becoming a “political band” that lacked cohesive decision-making and would be unable to separate family and politics in the future.

“That is not true. The New Generation hasn’t turned into a family party. None of the High Council’s members are from my family. They were all chosen in an election,” he added.

“We have seventeen offices within New Generation: none of my family members are in charge of those offices.”

During the nearly hour-long interview, Abdulwahid also denied allegations made by New Generation lawmaker Shadi Nawazad, who said on Wednesday that she had received a text message from someone close to Abdulwahid who threatened to blackmail her by releasing a nude video.

“She knows well how we have defended her. Those [messages] are far from us,” he said, before floating the possibility that the threat could have come from another source.

“We don’t have intelligence agencies … Is it possible that a lawmaker received a message from a number that claims that it was from Shaswar? If someone knows us, they know that we never do such things … Do people believe a party leader would send [such] a message to [someone]?”

“She is also a victim and these things will be disclosed in the future,” he added.

Abdulwahid went on to say that if anyone from the Movement had in fact been involved that he wanted to know about it.

“If someone has any audio or video recording, I [want them] to send [the recordings] to me … It is not part of our ethic to do that,” he said.

Nawazad said on Wednesday that she planned to file a lawsuit against Abdulwahid as a result of the text message.

“I don’t find anything in myself. I am ready to go and appear in court,” he said.

Later in the interview, Abdulwahid alleged that the events since Monday are part of a campaign by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) to undermine New Generation.

“This is a disgusting plan by both parties in power, which are the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in Sulaimani and the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Erbil,” he said.

“It is in retaliation for my remarks against those parties. I assure the people of the Kurdistan Region that we will overcome this circumstance.”

He went on to say that he anticipated that the KDP and the PUK would continue to try and undermine the Movement, but that he felt like he had been betrayed by the lawmakers who were critical of the Movement’s leadership.

“I expect more [of the same] from both parties in the future,” Abdulwahid said. “What I did not expect was my friends who have been with me day and night would betray me.”

(NRT Digital Media)

This story was updated at 8:20 pm EBL.