Kurdistan Region elections will not be held on time: source

The New Region

May. 01, 2024 • 3 min read
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The Kurdistan Region elections, originally scheduled for June, now face postponement to September/October.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region of Iraq - The Kurdistan Region’s parliamentary elections, scheduled for June 10, will not be held on time, a source close to the Iraqi government said on Wednesday.

A source close to the Iraqi government, who preferred to remain anonymous, told The New Region that the Kurdistan Region’s parliamentary elections will be delayed and not held on time.

This comes after in two separate meetings on Tuesday, Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani met with Omar Ahmed Mohammed, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), while Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani held discussions with the UK Ambassador to Iraq. 

Both meetings focused on the forthcoming Kurdistan Region elections, with both premiers stressing on ensuring fairness and inclusion of all political parties.

“The meeting discussed the progress of the preparations for the upcoming Kurdistan Region of Iraq parliamentary elections,” read a statement from Sudani’s office.
Sudani emphasized “the importance of conducting the elections in an atmosphere of political consensus, with the participation of Iraqis from the various Iraqi national components in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq,” the statement added.

On the other hand, PM Barzani met with the UK Ambassador to Iraq on Tuesday, where they “discussed the upcoming parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Region,” read a statement from Barzani.

“We both agreed on the need to resolve issues that could impede fair elections and inclusion of all parties,” the statement added. “We support a transparent, fair, and legitimate election process under international observation, protecting the rights of all components within the Kurdistan Region.”

The source from the Iraqi government further added that the elections “are now anticipated to occur between September and October of this year.”

However, on a phone call with The New Region on Wednesday, IHEC spokesperson Jumana al-Ghalayi said that preparations to hold the elections on time are ongoing.

The US and UK emphasized the importance of conducting fair and inclusive elections in the Kurdistan Region, ensuring the participation of all Iraqi components. While they refrained from explicitly mentioning the scheduled timing of the elections in June, they acknowledged the concerns raised by the KDP, hence avoiding specific references to the timeframe.

On February 21 the Federal Court issued decisions regarding the Kurdistan Parliament elections law, which included the cancellation of seats reserved for minorities (quotas) and the replacement of the Kurdistan Independent High Electoral Commission with the federal one.

On March 18th, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) announced its boycott of the parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Region scheduled for June. The party threatened to withdraw from the political process in Iraq if the political parties in Baghdad did not adhere to the agreements that led to the formation of the Iraqi government.

The KDP has since reiterated its commitment to boycotting the elections for the Kurdistan Region Parliament unless its concerns regarding the electoral procedures and mechanisms are addressed to ensure the interests and rights of the Kurdish people.

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