Votes of people and citizens of Kurdistan proved who can preserve value and defend people’s aims
Mahmood Muhammed, member of Kurdistan Democratic Party’s politburo:
Mahmud Mhammad, member of KDP's politburo and head of KDP's cultural and media office said in an interview with The Kurdish Globe:" As we saw, KDP had a different program for campaign and publicizing, initially, we started later than other parties, the aim was to intensify the campaign and not to disturb Kurdish citizens. Meanwhile, we think that two weeks for campaigning is suitable, but not more. We paid more attention to campaigning through mass media (TVs, radios, newspapers and magazines). During these two weeks, we didn't initially performed the campaigns on the streets, in the last days of the campaign we started using the streets. This was for presenting a new and civilized image and considering the temper and feeling of our people and not to disturb them. We also cared about environment, taking into account the tranquility, normality and the democratic competition among lists and political blocs and those who participated in the process.
where priority was given to guaranteeing the transparency and modernity of the process. Important as it was for us for all political parties to participate freely in the election, we were even more concerned with maintaining calm and respecting the will and determination of Kurdish citizen, so they would not be disturbed and their civil and legal rights would not be violated in this important process.
As we saw from the very first moments the voting process was finalized, since the IHEC decided not to extend the voting period, political parties-and especially the Opposition--congratulated themselves on the success of the voting process. However, later on, when the results were announced, they started shooting and were on the brink of calling the results into question. In fact, the process was a good and democratic one, and local and international observers and organizations verified the validity of the process. Obviously, we cannot deny that there were some violations, but these can generally be viewed in the context of punishing a party or a per- In the election for the fourth round of the Kurdistan Parliament, the competition between lists and blocs was keen, calm and democratic. In the KDP strongholds, especially, the atmosphere created was one that allowed the election campaign to proceed calmly.
Mahmud Mhammad, a member of the KDP's Political Committee and head of the KDP Culture and Media Office, said in an interview with the Kurdish Globe:" As we saw, the KDP ran a different type of campaign from the other parties. We started later than the other parties, and our aim was to intensify the campaign, not to disrupt the lives of Kurdish citizens. Moreover, we think that two weeks of campaigning is apt—any more would be excessive. We focused on campaigning through the mass media (TV, radio and the Press). We didn't do any street campaigning until the last days of the campaign, because we wanted to present a new and civilized image; we wanted to take the feelings of our people into consideration and not disturb them. We were also concerned about the environment, and sought to further tranquility, normality and democratic competition between lists and political blocs.
Stressing the importance of how the campaign was conducted, he said “Our aim was to deliver the KDP program to people, but also to respect others' opinions and not to defame them. This stems from our belief in freedom of participation in the election, making the competition more parliamentary and tightening democratic principles—and thereby doing our best to safeguard the psychological situation of other parties and voters in Kurdistan. And judging from the number of voters who played an active role in the election, it worked. That's why the campaigning was calmer in KDP strongholds, son. And it isn’t out of the question that this may have affected the voting rate in some very limited way, as is the case in all elections around the world. But the results were valid and the parties approved them--except those parties that want to use the issue to pursue their political aims.
The Iraqi High Electoral Commission referred to the success of the process and its results. Regarding the opinion and stance of other parties, Mahmood Mhammad had this to say:
“The parties who haven't won the votes they expected intend to make excuses to their public and their members. That is why they are trying to raise doubt over the process and the results, and defaming aspects of the process. Their actions are driven by a failure to understand the power and public support they had randomly claimed for themselves and their own parties. In short, the calculations they made during the election campaign were wrong, and they don’t want to accept this.
Turning now to demands for votes to be recounted, Mahmud Mhammad says:
We believe in the IEHC decision in the matter of targeting the ballot boxes and the reasons behind it. When they said some boxes in Slemany were taped with red ribbon, there may have been red and purple ribbons in Duhok and Erbil as well. We should not forget that the results and the decisions are determined according to their laws and regulations; they are specialists in specifying the issues and in approving or disapproving the results. That's why we respond to the rulings of the IEHC and the Kurdistan Supreme Court, and not to political tantrums.
Regarding the results, the head of the KDP's Culture and Media Office told the Kurdish Globe: “Ahead of the voting process, during preparations for the election, some parties decided to abuse the process and took aim at peoples' trust in the KDP and the seats that party has won. Some parties sought to devalue the election and its results. We accepted the results, but this is not the real size and of the Kurdistan Democratic Party. We believe the KDP has more supporters, but that it may not have been possible for everyone to participate in the process on one day. The opposition parties made their appeal to the Supreme Court, and the appeals were rejected: the results remain unchanged. As we are waiting for the court to solve the issue, simultaneously we respect the court's decision. And don’t forget that we have also made appeals in some locations, although we didn't make the appeals part of our election campaign, and we didn’t use them to defame any party’s results. Do you know why? Because after we all agreed on this important process, which proceeded in accordance with electoral law, as the KDP are not ready to go back on our agreement for the sake of party politics.
We saw that the Opposition (Gorran, Islamic Union and Islamic Group), instead of accepting the votes they got, have claimed their votes were falsified. This was in contrast with the KDP’s strategic ally, the PUK, which only won 18 seats. Their votes fell, their results were a blow, but they still accepted them. Yet organized attack have begun to target the KDP and to put pressure on the IHEC. Mahmud Mhamad relates the matter to the promises some parties gave to their fans. As he told the Globe: “Actually the parties that made a lot of big promises to the people couldn’t deliver on them. The votes they got do not fit with what they claimed and wanted to win. They had told their people they would finish up in power, but this was impossible.
He went on to analyze the situation by saying “The people of Kurdistan did not trust them. They started accusing other parties of convincing their people, because they couldn't win the trust of people. The KDP came first in the election by a considerable margin.
After the results of the election were announced, the Kurdish capital Erbil was attacked by a terrorist group. Some think this was related to the KDP victory in the election and to the calmness of the voting process and the good turn-out. This KDP official says: “Any inappropriate action against the
Mahmood Muhammed, member of Kurdistan Democratic Party's politburo: