ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Two British Kurds, Conservative candidate Nadhim Zahawi and Labour Party candidate Feryal Clark, were both elected in Thursday’s UK elections. Two other British Kurdish candidates that ran failed to be elected.
Zahawi, who has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Stratford-on-Avon since 2010 was re-elected with more than 60 percent of the vote – 33,343 votes compared with 13,371 for the Liberal Democrats Dominic Skinner, who came second.
The returning lawmaker has had a strong relationship with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in the past and recently praised the appointment of Prime Minister Masrour Barzani in July.
“I think he will make a great prime minister,” Zahawi told Kurdistan 24. “He is thoughtful, considerate, and deliberate.”
Clark, an Alevi Kurd from the city of Malatya, was elected with 51.8 percent of the vote and a total of 23,340 ballots cast in Enfield North, which has a large Kurdish community.
“Thank you Enfield North for putting your trust in me,” she tweeted.
On the other hand, Labour candidate and the British Kurdish mayor of South London Ibrahim Doguş and Liberal Democrats candidate Kaweh Beheshtizade were less successful.
The Economist, in a profile, called Dogus the Westminister’s Kebab king, who owns his own beer brand, three restaurants, and runs the British Kebab Awards and serves as mayor of the borough of Lambeth in South London. However, this was not enough to win the election.
“We must learn the lessons of this defeat, both locally and nationally,” Dogus tweeted. “I will not stop campaigning. I will not stop making the case for a fairer, more decent society.”
And we must learn the lessons of this defeat, both locally and nationally.— Ibrahim Dogus (@ibrahim_Dogus) December 13, 2019
I will not stop campaigning. I will not stop making the case for a fairer, more decent society.
Another candidate, Kaweh Beheshtizade, noted that the best moment of his election campaign was when a close Kurdish friend called him and said he loves “Boris Johnson but he wanted a Kurd to be a PM of the UK for the first time and he would vote for me.”
“Bless him he thought the election was between me and Boris Johnson for the PM.”
The best moment of my campaign was when a very close Kurdish friend called me & said he loves Boris Johnson but he wanted a Kurd to be a PM of the UK for the first time and he would vote for me. Bless him he thought the election was between me and Boris Johnson for the PM #GE2019— Kaweh Beheshtizadeh (@Beheshtizadeh) December 13, 2019
The election was a big shock to the Labour Party as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party won a sweeping victory with a total of 364 of the 650 seats.
Leaders in the Kurdistan Region congratulated Johnson on his win.
KRG President Nechirvan Barzani praised Johnson with his “big victory,” suggesting it indicates that the people of the UK have faith in the party “now and in the future,” and underlined the strong relations between the UK and the Kurdistan Region.
Syrian Kurdish leader and Commander-in-Chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Mazloum Abdi also congratulated the UK PM Johnson with his victory, tweeting that he is looking forward to “strengthening SDF-UK cooperation and raising the pace of our joint work in Syria in order to fight ISIS.”
Congratulations to PM @BorisJohnson on his election victory. We look forward to strengthening SDF-UK cooperation & raising the pace of our joint work in Syria in order to fight ISIS, protect our gains&find a lasting solution to the conflict and ensure safe return of the refugees.— Mazloum Abdî مظلوم عبدي (@MazloumAbdi) December 13, 2019
Editing by John J. Catherine