Teams start re­mov­ing elec­tions posters

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

Life in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, and es­pe­cially in the Kur­dish cap­i­tal of Er­bil, is slowly re­turn­ing to nor­mal af­ter the polls at which the Re­gion wit­nessed amaz­ing voter turnout on elec­tion day fol­lowed by a brief pe­riod of celebration.

A joint cam­paign con­sist­ing of teams from the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Gov­ern­ment (KRG), the min­istries of the Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and of Elec­tric­ity, and Pesh­marga forces played its part in the re­turn to nor­mal­ity. The teams have al­ready re­moved some of the elec­tion cam­paign ma­te­rial posted by can­di­dates com­pet­ing in the par­lia­men­tary elec­tions.

The teams has started tak­ing down ban­ners, stream­ers and posters from av­enues and ma­jor roads. How­ever, stream­ers and posters are still vis­i­ble in some mar­ket ar­eas and smaller streets in res­i­den­tial ar­eas.

The posters and elec­tions ma­te­ri­als, which added a lot of color as well as a pow­er­ful sense of democ­racy dur­ing the 20 days of elec­tion cam­paign­ing, were partly torn down and very ugly as a re­sult.

Apart from the gov­ern­men­tal teams, the fans and sup­port­ers of some po­lit­i­cal par­ties had al­ready be­gun re­mov­ing the posters and fly­ers af­ter the Iraqi High Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (IHEC) called on the var­i­ous po­lit­i­cal par­ties to re­move their own cam­paign posters af­ter the elec­tion pe­riod.

Some posters placed by the po­lit­i­cal par­ties con­test­ing the Septem­ber 21 elec­tions are still plas­tered on build­ings, polls, walls, bins, and dry­walls around the city and have be­come an eye­sore.

The gov­ern­ment and the IHEC gave per­mis­sion for can­di­dates to post elec­tion ma­te­rial around four weeks ago on the un­der­stand­ing that all the posters would be re­moved within 30 days of the end of the cam­paign.

“The po­lit­i­cal lists have 30 days to re­move the posters of their can­di­dates. Le­gal ac­tion will be taken against any lists that fail to do so,” said Riz­gar Ah­mad, head of the Ser­vice Depart­ment at Su­laimani Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Due to the height of some of the posters and fly­ers posted by the po­lit­i­cal par­ties, their sup­port­ers are hav­ing to use cranes and front load­ers to re­move the ads.

“We have re­moved a large per­cent­age of the KDP posters and fly­ers al­ready, and there is still time to re­move more. We are try­ing to get the city back to nor­mal as quickly as we can,” said Ad­nan Am­jad, a Kur­dis­tan Demo­cratic Party (KDP) sup­porter, as he re­moved posters from Er­bil city walls.

Next to Am­jad, Khalid Muhsin, a Gor­ran Move- ment sup­porter, was re­mov­ing Gor­ran can­di­dates’ posters. Musin said that Gor­ran has al­ways ad­hered to de­ci­sions made by the IHEC. “I am not sure if we re­move all our posters in time, but we are do­ing our best,” he said.

In ad­di­tion, vol­un­teer­ing teams have been formed in some places to clear the city of posters and ban­ners. The Er­bil En­vi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion Net­work called on peo­ple who want to par­tic­i­pate vol­un­tar­ily in clean­ing up the elec­tions ads in the city. Many peo­ple and of­fi­cials from gov- ern­ment foun­da­tions have re­sponded to their re­quest.

The Net­work team started clean­ing the places that have been in­ten­sively tar­geted by po­lit­i­cal lists ac­com­pa­nied by the Gov­er­nor of Er­bil, Nawzad Hadi, and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Er­bil Mu­nic­i­pal­ity depart­ment. Univer­sity Road, where most of the col­leges are lo­cated, is now al­most free of elec­tion ma­te­rial. The team re­moved many posters, ban­ners and fly­ers with­out dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing be­tween the posters of dif­fer­ent lists.

The par­lia­men­tary elec- tions were held across the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion on 21 Septem­ber 2013, and more than 1 000 can­di­dates from 27 po­lit­i­cal par­ties and in­de­pen­dents com­peted for the 111 seats in the Iraqi Kur­dis­tan Par­lia­ment.

The next Kur­dish par­lia­ment is ex­pected to amend the Re­gion's con­tro­ver­sial draft con­sti­tu­tion. Apart from the KDP, ma­jor Kur­dish par­ties want the draft to be amended to limit pres­i­den­tial power and es­tab­lish a clear-cut par­lia­men­tary sys­tem.

A man col­lects the posters used for the 2013 Kur­dis­tan par­lia­men­tary elec­tion cam­paign in the cap­i­tal city of Er­bil on Sepbtem­ber.

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