Iraqi parliament to extend electoral commission’s term by six months

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — The Iraqi parliament is set to convene on Thursday to discuss extending the term of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) by six months. This move is aimed at streamlining the oversight of the Kurdistan Region’s parliamentary elections.

The Iraqi House of Representatives is poised to extend the term of the IHEC for another six months. This extension is intended to enable the commission to oversee and conduct the long-awaited parliamentary elections in Kurdistan, which have been delayed several times.

The draft bill has been previously introduced, and now only the second reading is required to extend the term of the commission which is set to expire on July 7th.

“As the IHEC’s term ends in July, the only viable options to consider are either extending the commission’s term or appointing new commissioners, though the latter appears improbable,” stated political analyst Aysar Hasson to Zoom News.

On Thursday, the Iraqi Council of Representatives extended its legislative term by 30 days. Among its top priorities are voting on a new parliamentary speaker and extending the term of the electoral commission by an additional six months.

Zoom News has learned from a source that certain political factions are pushing for the bill’s introduction onto the agenda of the Iraqi parliament.

Most political parties have reached a consensus on extending the term of the electoral commission. They also support holding elections in the Kurdistan Region, considering it a constitutional right.

However, leaders in the Kurdistan Region have requested changes to election procedures. This action has led the Iraqi Federal Court to halt the preparations and procedures of the commission concerning the Kurdistan electoral process, according to lawyer Mohammed Faisal.

In November 2023, the Iraqi parliament voted to prolong the term of the IHEC by another six months. This decision aimed to oversee the long-delayed parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Region.

The parliament is also expected to extend the term of the commission by another six months during its session on Thursday. This would mark the second time such an extension has been granted.

Reporting by Akam Fahmi

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