PUK refutes involvement in Dohuk protest

<p style="text-align:left">The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) General Leadership Council member Arez Abdulla rejected his party participated in or encouraged a recent protest in Duhok.

He made the remarks on Wednesday, May 20, following accusations from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) member and Dohuk governor Farhad Atroshi.
&ldquo;We are also a part of the government. If the people of Duhok are protesting against the government that means the administration there has failed in its responsibility and is avoiding shouldering it,&rdquo; Abdulla told Voice of America (VOA) in an interview.
&ldquo;If we wanted to protest, we would withdraw from the government and protest in Erbil and not in Duhok and we would destroy the throne of the government,&rdquo; he further said.
On Saturday, teachers and other public sector workers protested in Duhok city's Azadi Park over the government's failure to pay their salaries. The security forces arrested approximately 100 protesters, including two organizers before the rally even began, and detained at least eight journalists who were observing the demonstration.
On Tuesday, Duhok Governor Farhad Atroshi accused the PUK, the Coalition for Democracy and Justice (CDJ) and the Kurdistan Islamic Union of provoking the people of the city to demonstrate against the government.
Abdulla also addressed tensions between the PUK and KDP, appearing to turn a common observation about the Kurdistan Region's parties on its head by suggesting that the KDP is in fact the more divided of the two.
Saying that the PUK was finding it difficult to determine which wing of the KDP actually spoke for the party, he asserted that there was no such difficulty within his party.
&ldquo;The KDP wants to deal with the PUK&rsquo;s co-presidents separately, but whichever of the two they meet they will be dealing with the PUK&rsquo;s policy,&rdquo; Abdulla said, referring to Bafel Talabani and Lahur Sheikh Jangi.
Reporter's code: 50101

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