Newly formed political parties gear up for Kurdistan Region parliamentary elections

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — With the Kurdistan Region’s parliamentary elections looming on June 10th, two newly-formed political parties are set to shake up the political landscape. Bereyi Gel (The People’s Front) and Rewtî Hellwêstî Nîşitmanî (The National Position Movement) have emerged, led by prominent Kurdish figures Lahur Sheikh Jangi and Ali Hama Salih, respectively.

Lahur Sheikh Jangi, formerly the co-chair of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), has established the People’s Front in Erbil, marking his return to the political fray after being ousted three years ago.

Meanwhile, Ali Hama Salih leads The National Position Movement, a party predominantly composed of former opposition lawmakers from the Change Movement (Gorran). Dissatisfied with the party’s recent political directions following the formation of the KRG’s ninth cabinet, they have opted for a new political path.

The National Position Movement is poised to hold its foundation congress in Sulaimani on Tuesday, presenting 40 candidates across the four constituencies in the Region. Notable among them are Duhok candidates Badal Barwari and Guhdar Zebari, known for their activism and vocal criticism of the KRG.

The upcoming parliamentary elections unfold against a backdrop of significant changes in the electoral landscape. The Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) is overseeing the electoral procedures, ensuring transparency and fairness. Additionally, the region has been divided into four constituencies, departing from the previous single-constituency system.

A pivotal change comes with the reduction of parliamentary seats from 111 to 100, following a recent ruling by the Iraqi Federal Court deeming the 11 quota seats reserved for minority groups as “unconstitutional.”

These electoral reforms have stirred tensions among political parties in the Kurdistan Region. The mainstays include the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the Change Movement, the New Generation, alongside Islamic parties and the two newly-formed entities.

As the June 10th elections approach, anticipation grows among the electorate for potential changes in the Kurdistan Region’s political landscape.

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