Federal Supreme Court suspends Kurdistan Regional elections’ preparation

Amr Al Housni

May. 07, 2024 • 2 min read
Image of Federal Supreme Court suspends Kurdistan Regional elections’ preparation

The Iraqi Federal Supreme Court suspends preparations for Kurdistan Region's parliamentary elections pending a final ruling, amid a lawsuit filed by Prime Minister Masrour Barzani.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region of Iraq - The Iraqi Supreme Federal Court on Tuesday suspended preparations for the Kurdistan Region’s parliamentary elections, pending a final court ruling on a lawsuit filed by the Kurdistan Region’s Prime Minister.

The Supreme Federal Court decided to suspend the implementation of the second paragraph of Article 2 of the Registering and Approving Candidate Lists for the Parliament of the Kurdistan Region Law No. 7 of 2024.

The second paragraph of Article 2 stipulates that “the Kurdistan Region Parliament shall consist of 100 seats, distributed across electoral districts in the provinces as follows: Erbil 34 seats, Sulaymaniyah 38 seats, Dohuk 25 seats, and Halabja 3 seats.”

The decision was in light of an official lawsuit filed by the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Masrour Barzani, against the President of the Board of Commissioners of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) of Iraq.

Earlier this year, the Electoral Commission issued Law No. 7 of 2024 regarding the registration and approval of candidate lists for the Parliament of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Article 2 of the law divided the Kurdistan Region into four electoral districts and specified the parliament's seat count at 100 only, nullifying the 11 seats allocated for minority quotas.

This move sparked discontent among several political parties, including the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), prompting calls for the decision to be revoked due to its alleged unconstitutionality.

Earlier in May, PM Masrour Barzani welcomed a U.S. delegation led by Senators Ted Budd and Joni Ernst. They discussed support for upcoming parliamentary elections, emphasizing their “support for free, transparent, and fair elections involving all groups and ensuring the protection of all components' rights.”

Barzani met with the UK Ambassador to Iraq last Tuesday, where they discussed the upcoming parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Region.

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

A source from the Iraqi government earlier on Wednesday told The New Region 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 U.S. 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.

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Author Amr Al Housni

Amr Al Housni is a Syrian news reporter based in Erbil, specializing in coverage of local and international events.


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