KDP denies election boycott amidst growing pressure

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — Just two days after the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) announced it wouldn’t join the Kurdistan parliamentary elections, the party’s leader, Massoud Barzani, clarified on Wednesday that they hadn’t boycotted the elections.

Barzani informed US Ambassador to Iraq Alina Romanowski that “The KDP hasn’t boycotted the elections, but we’re in favor of fair, transparent elections, without outside interference or preconceived agendas,” according to a statement.

This statement contrasts with the KDP’s stance two days prior when the party’s politburo stated, “We won’t participate in an election that’s illegal and unconstitutional, held under an imposed system.”

Barzani’s clarification comes amidst little support for the KDP’s earlier position, both domestically and internationally.

Ambassador Romanowski emphasized her support for elections in the Kurdistan Region that are fair and credible, stating, ” All people of IKR should have voice in determining their future.”

Before the US ambassador’s remarks, the KDP had expressed its concerns to three political parties – the Change Movement (Gorran), Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), and the Justice Group (Komal). However, these parties, along with many others, expressed their preference for holding elections on schedule following the KDP’s decision.

Most of Kurdistan Region’s parties, particularly those in the new cabinet with the KDP, had no issues with the Federal Court’s decision to amend the Kurdistan parliamentary election Law, considering the 11 minority quota seats unconstitutional.

At the Iraqi level, the pro-Iran Shiite Coordination Framework quickly addressed the KDP’s concerns, emphasizing their desire to maintain their political partnership within a Federal Iraq.

Acting Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament Muhsin al-Mandalawi met with Barzani to discuss the political situation, the KDP’s decision regarding the elections, and salary provision issues.

Following his meeting with Barzani, Mandalawi met with Nuri al-Maliki, leader of The State of Law Coalition.

Additionally, the Federal Court expressed concern over media attacks, threatening legal action against politicized attempts to damage its reputation and legitimacy.

The KDP’s decision to boycott the Kurdistan parliamentary elections did not garner support domestically, in Iraq, or internationally, indicating the likelihood of negotiations between Kurdish and Iraqi parties, as well as the Federal Court, to address domestic and international demands for the elections.

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