KRG PM lodges complaint against Iraqi electoral commission, alleging constitutional breach

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani has lodged a complaint with the Iraqi Federal Court against the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) for its “violation of the constitution” concerning the Region’s parliamentary election, a source familiar with the matter confirmed to Zoom News.

On Monday, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, represented by his lawyer Ayad Kakayi, has filed a complaint against the IHEC regarding the distribution of parliamentary seats on the Kurdistan Region’s four constituencies. He contends that this distribution is unconstitutional and objects to the removal of minority quota seats.

The Prime Minister has allegedly urged the court to declare the seat distribution as ‘unconstitutional’ and to halt the IHEC’s preparations for the parliamentary election, a move long advocated for by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

The complaint asserts that the IHEC’s decision to divide the Kurdistan Region into four constituencies is based on voter numbers rather than population figures in those areas. It deems this ruling “unconstitutional” and a “violation” of Article 49 of the Iraqi constitution.

It further asserts that the representation of all communities of the Region must be considered, emphasizing that the commission ought to have considered balance, particularly concerning the Turkmen and Christian minorities.

In February 2024, the Iraqi Court ruled that the minority seats in the Kurdistan Parliament were “unconstitutional,” resulting in the removal of these 11 reserved seats. This decision prompted the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) to boycott the Kurdistan parliamentary elections.

The complaint of the KRG Prime Minister aligns with the visit of Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani, who also serves as the Vice President of the KDP, to neighboring Iran. During his visit, it is anticipated that discussions would take place with senior Iranian officials regarding the possible delay of the Kurdistan parliamentary elections.

Following his political visit to Baghdad, President Nechirvan Barzani appears to have effectively persuaded political parties in Iraq to postpone the Region’s electoral process. He is now in Iran, aiming to secure crucial regional approval on the issue.

Filing a compliant by the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region with the Iraqi Supreme Court against the IHEC could be interpreted as the KDP’s latest attempt to either delay the elections or overturn the Federal Court’s decision to nullify 11 quota seats in the Kurdistan Parliament.

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