New Generation leader criticizes new government's record on infrastructure, livelihoods

Abdulwahid responds to KRG PM
New Generation Movement President Shaswar Abdulwahid

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SULAIMANI — Reflecting on the tenure of the government that was formed this summer, New Generation Movement President Shaswar Abdulwahid said on Sunday (December 8) that the livelihoods of people in the Kurdistan Region would determine whether a government has been successful or has failed.

In a speech the previous day, KRG Prime Minister Barzani touted what his government had achieved since he took office on July 10.

Abdulwahid responded to the prime minister in a video message, where he focused on bread-and-butter issues.

“When you increase taxes on the people, when you increase the price of electricity, when you increase the fees at border crossings: are these achievements or are they burdens on citizens,” he said.

The New Generation leader noted that the premier had not mentioned that the KRG had not yet distributed kerosene to residents yet, despite the onset of the winter season. Many in the Region use it to fuel heaters. He also criticized Barzani's claims about improvements in electricity provision.

“It seems he does not know that they have provided an average of 13 hours of electricity per day in November because 390 hours of electricity have been given to the citizens,” he said. “Is it an achievement or failure if you provide little more than 11 hours of electricity to the citizens?”

He also criticized the KRG for not doing enough to repair existing roads or build new ones.

“We must ask every citizen what have been changed in its city and town. Do you know what the number of roads [built by] this new cabinet,” he asked rhetorically.

Abdulwahid also took issue with Barzani's claims about investment in the Region.

“It seems he does not know that only thirteen permissions for investment were given for Sulaimani city in 2019, while 40 to 50 permissions were given in other years,” he said.  

Abdulwahid also claimed that investment had decreased in Erbil and Duhok.

Referring to the freedom of individuals and journalists, Abdulwahid said that several journalists had already been arrested during the government's tenure and that the authorities had not been adhering to the journalism law.

“Is this a failure or an achievement?” he asked.

The New Generation leader also referred to some issues that Barzani did not address in his speech.

“It was not mentioned that bombardments in the border areas have increased. Even the cities of the Kurdistan Region are bombed by drone,” he noted, referring to the assassination of two Kurdistan Communities Union members on Azmar Mountain by Turkey earlier this autumn.

Abdulwahid further said that the government would be successful when the people’s livelihoods were good.

“If you want to know whether you are a successful government: go and ask the people about the state of their livelihood and country. If the livelihoods of people are changed and are good, it means you are a successful government. If their livelihoods are bad, it means you are a failed government,” he said.

He added that the measure for a successful government is “services and people’s opinions, not speeches.”

(NRT Digital Media)