Sons of Nawshirwan Mustafa with their father
Sons of Nawshirwan Mustafa with their father

Open letter by the sons of Nawshirwan Mustafa

Below is the full letter published by the sons of Nawshirwan Mustafa on the anniversary of his death. The Gorran movement, founded by Mustafa, is now a shadow of its former self, facing potential electoral annihilation in the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Kurdistan scheduled for this year.

The party halved its number of MPs in the last Kurdistan parliamentary election and was reduced to zero in recent federal votes.

Many Gorran supporters and former members lay the blame squarely on Mustafa’s sons. They accuse them of transforming Gorran into the very same family enterprise that the party was initially formed to oppose, and in response, have quit the party in droves.

This week, Mustafa’s sons are urging these former members to return to the party fold via open letter.

Full letter by Chia and Nma, sons of Nawshirwan Mustafa:

In the name of God, the Almighty, the Most Merciful,

Dear citizens and supporters of Gorran,

As we mark the sixth anniversary of the passing of the late Nawshirwan Mustafa, it is clear that the living conditions of our people and the state of governance in the Kurdistan Region have sadly deteriorated over the past six years. Concurrently, the Gorran Movement has seen setbacks.

On this solemn occasion, we eschew evasion and downplaying of faults. Instead, we take the lead in admitting to our esteemed nation: Yes, following the death of our leader, we have made significant mistakes on several fronts. One of the invaluable lessons from our late father was acknowledging mistakes without defensiveness, dedicating his life to rectifying them and averting their recurrence.

We learned from our father that as part of this nation, we should always be transparent with you and never distance ourselves from you.

These mistakes led to the justified punishment of our movement by the committed supporters and conscientious voters of Gorran, so that it can restructure and once again serve as the bulwark and protector of the Kurdish people.

We are confident that had our late father been alive, the lives of the people, the struggle, the march of Gorran, and the organizational life of the movement would have remained intimately tied to the citizens and the streets: Gorran’s heartbeat would have been in synchrony with that of the street.

On this day, we, the sons of Nawshirwan Mustafa, seize the opportunity to sincerely apologize to our selfless and sacrificing people for any pain we may have inadvertently caused. We also ask forgiveness from the pure spirit of our father for any errors we may have committed.

Furthermore, acknowledging that every activist has the right to voice their opinions and suggestions according to the internal constitution of the movement, we put forward the following recommendations:

  1. The decision of the National and General Councils to reconcile and reorganize Gorran should be implemented promptly. All comrades who have dedicated ten years of their lives to Gorran should be approached and invited to return to the movement.

    We acknowledge that many Gorran supporters are currently uneasy about the movement’s decision-making and management processes. As such, any actions taken without the input and consent of the majority of activists and voters risk further undermining Gorran, and we must prevent this.

    We believe that those currently leading Gorran bear the primary responsibility to execute the decision for reconciliation and reorganization as part of the movement’s leadership.

  2. At this stage, the needs of Gorran and the wishes of its supporters necessitate that the National Council establish an interim committee. This committee should consist of present members of the Gorran Movement, some of Gorran’s government team, and distinguished, capable, and loyal activists who are accepted by the people, Gorran supporters, and activists of the movement not currently active. 

    This committee will possess the authority to work alongside institutions, particularly the General Council and the National Council, to manage the organizational and political life of the Gorran Movement. This includes making decisions on Gorran’s involvement in the Kurdistan Regional Government, the Kurdistan Parliament, local government, national conference, financial and media policy, political and diplomatic relations, and the forthcoming elections. We presented a roadmap to implement this step in a letter read to the conference preparatory committee and both councils several months ago.

  3. We believe that our shared goal of revitalizing and strengthening the Gorran Movement is so profoundly important that it warrants all conceivable sacrifices. This calls upon us, the sons of Nawshirwan Mustafa, along with the esteemed comrades presently steering Gorran and those serving in the KRG, to support and respect the decisions laid out in the previous point.

    Let us then, in unison, implore our citizens and Gorran advocates to entrust the impending phase of our movement to the comrades who will bear its responsibility, collaboratively striving to ensure the success of our collective efforts. It is abundantly clear to us all that in the absence of our late leader Nawshirwan Mustafa and the setback of the Gorran Movement, the conditions of the Kurdistan Region and its citizenry have deteriorated rather than improved.

  4. We assert that the current state of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq necessitates that our citizens and Gorran supporters place reconciliation and accountability at the heart of our efforts to address and resolve the forthcoming challenges. We must acknowledge that past tendencies towards conflict, retribution, and self-interest have caused considerable harm to our nation. Let us now renounce this toxic legacy.

To this end, we direct our message to our esteemed and loyal comrades presently at home, saying: If previously you were accountable for the Hill [Gorran Headquarters], from today onwards, you should assume the responsibility for this new phase. No longer mere observers, you must become actively engaged, initiating and promoting the reconciliation process, devising and implementing future strategies, strengthening the movement, and restoring hope to our people.

We once again affirm with utter clarity and insistence that our father’s decree was that as long as Gorran remains the people’s vanguard and the fortress of Gorran’s supporters, no individual has the right to exploit it for personal gains. The experiences of the past six years have borne out this truth, and will continue to do so in the future.

Our father’s vision involved the establishment of cultural, research, and educational institutions on the Hill to educate future generations. His untimely demise deprived him of the chance to fulfill this aspiration. As the sons of Nawshirwan Mustafa, we consider it our duty to see this dream realized.

It is important to mention that regardless of any past disagreements, we honor the dedication and tireless efforts of all those who have stood with our father: the seasoned veterans, the youth, all activists and voters of the Gorran Movement.

Our collective endeavors are focused on working harmoniously to restore faith, fortify the Gorran Movement, and rekindle hope for our nation. In pursuit of this goal, we implore everyone to fulfill their duties. We remain open and prepared to undertake any support and obligations required of us.

Nma Nawshirwan Mustafa

Chia Nawshirwan Mustafa