New Generation expels three MPs for not giving up parliamentary pensions

Former New Generation lawmakers Diyari Anwar, Mam Burhan Muhammad Qanie, and Sirwan Baban (NRT Digital Media)

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SULAIMANI — The New Generation Political Council on Wednesday (January 22) expelled three lawmakers from their caucus in the Kurdistan Parliament and from the Movement after they refused to forego their parliamentary pensions.

“For us, the three lawmakers are expelled,” the Movement said.

The three lawmakers are Diyari Anwar, Mam Burhan Muhammad Qanie, and Sirwan Baban, who will now sit as independents for the time being. Lawmaker Shadi Nawzad was similarly expelled from the Movement last Thursday for voting for the pension reform bill.

“Unfortunately after they were warned several times to give up their parliamentary pensions and to send a letter to the Parliament concerning the matter, three lawmakers from the Movement refused to do so,” New Generation said in a statement, referencing a press conference by New Generation President Shaswar Abdulwahid giving the trio 48-hours to submit a letter.

“The three parliament members, instead of choosing the first option that the Movement gave them and give up their pensions, they straight away went to the second option and said that they were not a part of the Movement right after the press conference on Monday,” the statement continued.

“They play this ugly game to avoid the Movement after we publicly asked that they to give up the pensions, so for us, the three lawmakers are expelled and kicked out of the Movement.”

Following parliamentary and regional elections in 2018, the Movement had eight lawmakers in the Kurdistan Parliament and four in the Council of Representatives. Since then disputes over policy and the direction of the party have halved that number in Erbil and reduced it to one in Baghdad.

The Movement justified the expulsions by saying that it was right not to stay silent over what it considered important ethical matters.

“We chose the right way. No one is protected here if they do something illegal and put their own benefit in front of the general benefit,” it added.

The New Generation Movement voiced its opposition to the legislation when the legislation was reintroduced into the Kurdistan Parliament late last year, with Abdulwahid saying last week that “a lawmaker that votes in favor of a bill that makes his salary and those of senior officials 40 times greater than those of ordinary employees is a narcissist and a human parasite.”

“We feel happy and thankful that, in order to preserve the general benefit of the population, we have expelled three of our lawmakers and we are certain that there are many people who will be happy with our decision. We conclude that no one in our Movement can hide themselves and try to enrich themselves through the Movement,” the Political Council said at the end of the statement.

(NRT Digital Media)