IHEC postpones Kurdistan provincial elections
The official spokesperson for the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) has said that it cannot hold the Kurdistan Region’s provincial council elections on time due to preparations for the Iraqi parliamentary elections.
Safa Mousawi said that Kurdistan’s provincial council elections will be held after the Iraqi parliamentary elections. He added that the Commission will likely hold a meeting with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) after the end of the Iraqi elections to set the exact date for the provincial elections in the Region.
According to information obtained from the IHEC, Iraq’s parliamentary elections are scheduled to be held on April 30, 2014.
The provincial elections were scheduled by the KRG for November 31, 2013.
“The Commission is ready to hold Kurdistan provincial elections, but the political entities have not yet submitted their can- didate lists,” Sarbast Mustafa, head of the IHEC said earlier, adding that this might lead to delays.
Remarkably, the Region has not had provincial elections since 2005. This has long been a bone of contention between the political parties in Kurdistan. The two ruling parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), led by Regional President Massoud Barzani, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), led by Jalal Talabani, who suffered a stroke in mid-December last year and has been in a German hospital since, won the previous elections with 89 % of the votes.
The United States Consul General in Erbil, the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq, had earlier asked the IHEC to hold the Region’s provincial election on time.