Reactions emerge following KDP’s decision to boycott parliamentary election

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — After the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) declared its intention to boycott the parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Region, numerous parties both within and beyond the Region responded to the decision of the top ruling party, expressing concern and emphasizing the importance of the elections.

On Monday, the KDP declared that it would not participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for June 10, citing the elections as “illegal and unconstitutional” in light of recent judgments by the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court.

“We will not partake in an election that is conducted unlawfully and unconstitutionally under coercion,” stated the party’s politburo.

The US Department of State expressed concern over the announcement by the KDP, emphasizing the US’s consistent position “to support the conduct of and the full participation in free, fair, transparent, and credible elections,” as stated by Vedant Patel, Principal Deputy Spokesperson of the US State Department, during a press briefing.

“We also understand that many of the concerns raised by Iraqi Kurds with respect to recent decisions made by the federal institutions, but we don’t think that boycotting these elections will serve the interests of the IKR, the Kurdish people, or Iraq in general,” Patel added.

Also, Alina Romanowski, the US Ambassador to Iraq, voiced concern regarding the decision made by the Region’s largest political party. She called upon both the Iraqi and Kurdish governments to guarantee elections that are “free, fair, transparent,” and credible.

“All the people of Iraqi Kurdistan Region should have a voice in determining their future,” she emphasized.

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) stated that it takes note on both decisions made by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Federal Court. UNAMI urged all parties to prioritize the welfare of the people and actively pursue constructive solutions, rather than prolonging the current deadlock.

“The holding of the 10 June KRI elections is essential,” emphasized Unami.

The party’s decision is based on recent rulings by the Federal Court, which invalidated the allocation of 11 quota seats reserved for the minorities of the Region. The court deemed these seats “unconstitutional” and consequently removed them, thereby reducing the total number of parliamentary seats to 100.

The ruling was issued following a complaint by the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in court, seeking the distribution of the 11 seats across all four electoral constituencies in the Region. However, the court deemed the seats “unconstitutional.”

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the second-largest governing party, affirmed its dedication to holding the elections on time, in response to the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) decision. Saadi Pira, spokesperson for the party, stated, “The PUK believes that the Kurdistan parliamentary elections provide the best solution for navigating the complex circumstances both within the region and on a broader scale.”

The newly-formed People’s Front party declared its commitment to advocating for prompt parliamentary elections. It has firmly opposed any potential delays and has cautioned against the significant repercussions such delays might entail.

The Christian minorities, who previously declared their intention to boycott the elections, issued a statement endorsing the party’s decision. They cite the conduct of the elections as “unconstitutional, illegal, and unfair.”

The minorities also argue that their decisions, in conjunction with those of the KDP, constitute a crucial step towards preserving the constitutional entity of the Kurdistan Region.

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