IHEC post­pones Kur­dis­tan pro­vin­cial elec­tions

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Salih Wal­ad­bagi

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.

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