On the 30th of April, the election process proceeded from 7 am till 6 pm. The voting time was not extended, which was one of the positive aspects of the event. People went to the polling stations in specific time and manner, and political parties believed that their voters and supporters went to polling stations as required of them. In addition to that, the electronic fingerprint device, as announced from the outset, stopped operating automatically at 6 pm, so no one would think of extension of the voting time. That is why the end of the voting process approached with no pressure, rigging or the claims of this and that.
This election was significant for the Kurds, because the political process in Iraq pops up in a new form, competition and content. Though the Kurdistan Democratic Party will be the first winner representing the majority of the Kurds, all the Kurdish political parties should be unified in Bagdad with one voice and stance, because even before announcing the final results, Nuri Maliki refers to the majority’s government. Meanwhile, Iraq is sunk into war and blasts, and then flood of released water from dams, especially in Sunni populated areas. Nuri Maliki says he’s the first winner, but no one can form the government on his own. That is why political analysts fear the worst. In such a situation, Kurds should make their own decision about their future. We should bear in mind that keeping Maliki as Prime Minister for the third term is a threat, adding fuel to the fear of escalation of the sectarian war.
Nuri Maliki advocates the government of majority. It means he has already decided from the beginning that he is the first winner, and he himself will choose the political parties to form the next cabinet. It means a government that doesn’t represent all components of the Iraqi population. This policy will create a real problem for the Kurds in particular, because it doesn’t seem that Nuri Maliki, in case things remain as it is, will deal with the Kurds as one bloc. He might not want the KDP, which is the first winner in Kurdistan, to be a partner in the next government, because the KDP is adamant about the national and the strategic issues concerning the Kurdish people. It’s also not unthinkable that Maliki will consider an alternative inside Kurdistan. That is why unifying the Kurdish political parties and their participation in the next government need intelligence and decisive decisions.
As expected, KDP is the first winner of the election at Kurdistan Region’s level, but the main competition will remain between the Change Movement (Gorran) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). They consider themselves practically second in Kurdistan, and being second is not conditioned only with the number of seats.
All the political parties in Kurdistan participated in the election campaign and the voting process. Kurds, Turkman, Kild, Syriac and Assyrians, Muslims, Christians and Ezidies chose their representatives freely. The process went on calmly with no trouble. It’s true that the competition was tough, but no one intended to lose the control and surrender to the reaction, rage and the psychological pressure of the opponents. This is practically an important step towards tightening principles of democracy and freedom of voting, and is sticking to rationale and logic instead of emotion and anger.
What is most important: Kurdistan is the first winner of the process, so it’s a national duty that the results are accepted by all without resorting to negative reactions. Some of the political parties were fighting for their survival, gaining and regaining the power and their public position. This is not solely related to cadres and leaders of parties themselves, but it includes supporters of the parties too. Because the cry of anger for the sake of gaining few votes was not unrecognizable. The harsh tones were considered by ordinary people as a real process of combating. We saw in some places a tough atmosphere and violent competitions.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party, before other parties, thinks of an alternative strategy for the political future of Iraq in the post-election era. That is why Kurdistan is in need of a political balance and the participation of all parties in power. This, I think, will drive Kurdistan politically into a nation era, from the era of gaining political and local achievements into the era of achieving total independence, unity and crossing over into the internationalization. This needs political parties and components of Kurdistan as a whole. The issues should be looked upon in a way that the success of Kurdistan in the elections needs additional efforts to make Kurdistan successful in the political process in general, because if the election results in Iraq are honey for some they will be bitter and sour for some others.