Iraqi electoral commission sets deadline for provincial election registration

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — The Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) of Iraq has announced a registration period for political parties in the country to participate in the upcoming provincial elections. The registration window will be open from July 1st to July 30th, allowing parties to formally enter the electoral race.

These provincial elections, scheduled for November 6th of this year, will mark a significant milestone for Iraq, as they will be the first of their kind since 2013. The provincial council had been suspended in 2019 by the Iraqi parliament, but now the country is preparing for a democratic process to reestablish local governance.

One notable inclusion in this electoral cycle is the city of Kirkuk, which has not seen provincial elections since 2005 due to political disputes within the province. Kirkuk boasts a diverse population consisting of Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmens, making the elections crucial for representation and addressing the needs of its inhabitants.

The timing of these provincial elections aligns with a recent decision by the Iraqi Federal Court regarding the extension of the Kurdistan Region’s term. The court ruled that the extension of the term by one year was unconstitutional, prompting the Kurdistan Region to hold its parliamentary election alongside Baghdad.

Initially, President Nechirvan Barzani had set November 18th as the date for the Kurdistan Region’s parliamentary elections. However, due to the Federal Court’s ruling, it is now impossible for the Region to conduct its elections separately through its electoral commission.

Despite the Kurdistan Region’s authorities repeatedly calling for the Region’s parliamentary elections to proceed, the IHEC recently announced its inability to hold both the regional and provincial elections simultaneously. This situation has added complexity to the Kurdistan Region’s electoral process.

As the registration period approaches, political parties in Iraq are expected to mobilize their efforts to participate in these historic provincial elections. The process holds the promise of revitalizing local governance structures and empowering communities across the country.



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