Iraq halts Kurdistan parliamentary election preparations amid speculation of delay

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani has directed the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) to halt the planning and allocation of funds for the Kurdistan Region’s parliamentary elections scheduled for June 10, as confirmed by sources within IHEC to Zoom News.

The decision follows Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani’s visit to Baghdad, during which all Kurdish factions in the Iraqi parliament, with the exception of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), issued a statement rejecting any attempt of postponing the parliamentary elections.

The postponement stems from the KDP’s decision to boycott the elections. They refuse to participate unless the 11 quota seats reserved for minorities, which were revoked by an Iraqi Federal Court ruling, are reinstated.

The Kurdistan parliamentary elections are scheduled for June 10 after experiencing multiple postponements due to disputes and disagreements among the ruling political parties of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), namely the KDP and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

However, the rival parties are attributing blame to each other for the delays.

Late Wednesday, the KDP faction in the Iraqi parliament issued a statement, reiterating its dedication to conducting the elections under the condition of safeguarding the “will of the Kurdistan people” and ensuring they remain free from predetermined outcomes.

The party had previously resolved to boycott the elections and declared the Iraqi Federal Court’s ruling on the removal of minority seats as “unconstitutional.”

“The KDP has been advocating for elections for two years. However, certain parties, particularly those currently issuing statements, are well aware of which party obstructed the elections,” reads the statement.

Moreover, the party says they know which political party declared that even if elections were conducted, they would hinder the placement of ballot boxes in the area under the control of the PUK “and prevent elections from taking place in Sulaimani.”

However, the PUK issued a strong warning following its political bureau meeting late Wednesday, emphasizing that any delays to the elections would prompt them to pursue legal action.

“We vehemently denounce any authoritarian efforts and rumors suggesting an agreement between parties to delay the Kurdistan parliamentary elections,” the party said in a statement.

It also contends that any effort to delay the elections, in defiance of the Federal Court rulings and the directives of the High Election Commission, will also significantly disrupt the political process in the Kurdistan Region.

“This undermines the credibility of the desire for democratic transition of power and casts doubt on the integrity of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s institutions, casting serious doubt on the legitimacy of the KRG, which is now an outgoing government.”

However, multiple sources within IHEC informed Zoom News that there is a strong likelihood of postponing the electoral process. This comes in response to the Iraqi Prime Minister’s request to halt all preparations associated with the Kurdistan parliamentary elections.

More Articles

Back to top button