KDP defies calls, refuses participation in parliamentary elections

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — After the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) opted to boycott the parliamentary elections two weeks ago, numerous diplomats and delegations from both within Iraq and foreign embassies have visited Erbil in an attempt to persuade the party to reverse its decision. However, these efforts have proven unsuccessful.

The current political landscape mirrors that of seven years ago during the Kurdistan Region’s Independence Referendum of 2017.

At that time, numerous countries and internal factions urged Masoud Barzani, the President of the Kurdistan Region at the time, to postpone the referendum, citing concerns about its timing.

However, Barzani remained steadfast in his decision and proceeded with the referendum, resulting in over 92 percent of voters opting for independence. Within three weeks, the Iraqi army launched attacks on the disputed areas, leading to the Region losing half of its territory.

Presently, the international community along with nearly all political parties in the Region are advocating for the timely conduct of elections. They argue that failure to hold elections could result in consequences for the Region’s entity that are no less dangerous than those following the referendum.

However, Masoud Barzani, the leader of the KDP, and his party assert that rejecting the election as decided by the Iraqi Federal Court would be in the best interest of the Region’s entity.

The KDP’s position on the election is influenced by recent rulings from the Federal Court concerning the removal of the 11 minority quota seats and the direct allocation of the Region’s civil servants from Baghdad. The KDP is dissatisfied with these decisions and remains unresponsive to both international and internal appeals.

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and other parties, however, argue that failing to conduct the elections will lead to a situation similar to what occurred after the referendum.

Ari Harsin, head of the KDP branch in Sulaimani, confidently stated Wednesday that the elections cannot proceed without his party’s involvement. Harsin challenged the Federal court, stating that if it had the authority to do anything against the Region, it should proceed to do so.

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