Se­cu­rity Plan to be put in place for pro­tect­ing polling sta­tions

Me­moran­dum of un­der­stand­ing signed be­tween IHEC and KRG In­te­rior Min­istry for form­ing a se­cu­rity com­mit­tee

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE - By Zakaria Muhammed

The In­te­rior Min­is­ter of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Govern­ment (KRG), Kareem Sin­jary, met with the head of the In­de­pen­dent High Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (IHEC), Sar­bast Mustafa, on Au­gust 21 in the Kur­dish cap­i­tal of Er­bil.

Af­ter talk­ing about the is­sues that IHEC and vot­ers might face dur­ing the par­lia­men­tary and pro­vin­cial elec­tions, a me­moran­dum of un­der­stand­ing was signed which sought to put in place a se­cu­rity plan for pro­tect­ing polling sta­tions dur­ing the elec­tions.

It was de­cided at the meet­ing to form a se­cu­rity com­mit­tee headed by Min­is­ter Sin­jary, the gover­nors of Er­bil, Su­laimaniya, and Duhok and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the IHEC and the Depart­ment of For­eign Re­la­tions. The com­mit­tee will also have branches in the prov­inces which re­port to the main com­mit­tee.

The IHEC is a pro­fes­sional, gov­ern­men­tal, in­de­pen­dent and neu­tral body su­per­vised by the Coun­cil of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and solely re­spon­si­ble for or­ga­niz­ing, im­ple­ment­ing and su­per­vis­ing all kinds of elec­tions and ref­er­enda.

The spe­cial vot­ing process was another topic dis­cussed at the meet­ing: mem­bers of the po­lice and se­cu­rity forces usu­ally vote in a spe­cial vot­ing process be­fore the reg­u­lar vot­ing be­gins.

The Kur­dis­tan Re­gion’s par­lia­men­tary elec­tions are due to be held on Septem­ber 21. De­spite at­tempts made by some el­e­ments to post­pone the process, the IHEC has re­it­er­ated that it does not in­tend to de­lay the par­lia­men­tary elec­tions, and that the process will re­main on sched­ule.

The IHEC has al­ready re­ceived can­di­date lists from 31 of the po­lit­i­cal en­ti­ties which will be tak­ing part in the forth­com­ing Kur­dish par­lia­men­tary elec­tions; two po­lit­i­cal par­ties-the Kur­dis­tan Con­ser­va­tive Party and the Turk­men Elli Party—have with­drawn to date.

The con­sti­tu­tion states that can­di­dates must be over 25, hold a high school cer­tifi­cate or higher, and have a clean crim­i­nal record with no out­stand­ing ac­cu­sa­tions against them.

Each po­lit­i­cal party also has to nom­i­nate one of its lead­ing mem­bers to head the can­di­date list. Based on the new elec­toral law, the elec­tions will have a semi-open listed for­mat.

The IHEC also an­nounced its will­ing­ness to hold pro­vin­cial elec­tions in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion on Novem­ber 21.

“We have re­ceived the let­ter from the re­gional govern­ment set­ting Novem­ber 21 as the date for the pro­vin­cial elec­tions, and we will be­gin prepa­ra­tions to­day to con­duct these elec­tions,” the Head of the com­mis­sion, Serbst Mustafa, an­nounced.

The IHEC had ear­lier an­nounced that it had sub­mit­ted a re­quest to the KRG stat­ing its in­abil­ity to hold the pro­vin­cial elec­tions on the same day as the par­lia­men­tary elec­tions on Septem­ber 21, as orig­i­nally sched­uled.

The KRG an­nounced last week that it had iden­ti­fied Novem­ber 21 as a date for the hold­ing of pro­vin­cial elec­tions in the Re­gion.

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