Kirkuk election integrity: IHEC responds to allegations of fraud and calls for postponement

Kirkuk election integrity: IHEC responds to allegations of fraud and calls for postponement

Shafaq News / The Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) dispelled concerns on Sunday regarding potential fraud and violations in the provincial council election results in Kirkuk, confirming the voters' registry validity and asserting no legal grounds for postponing the elections in the governorate.

Kirkuk's representative from the "Arab Leadership Alliance," Muhayman Al-Hamdani, officially requested the Prime Minister and the IHEC to postpone the Kirkuk Provincial Council elections due to voter registry discrepancies and lack of engagement of all relevant parties in the update process, citing Article 13 of Election Law No. 4 of 2023. Al-Hamdani claimed over 250,000 individuals transferred their ration cards to Kirkuk, deeming it a legal violation.

Al-Hamdani argued that conducting the elections would cause demographic changes and electoral inequality under Article 26 and Article 23/Third of the Electoral Law, along with the incomplete functions and tasks of the Article 13 Committee in Kirkuk.

In response, Emad Jameel, head of the IHEC's media team, stated, "Kirkuk's elections cannot be singularly postponed according to the law; elections for all governorates must occur simultaneously under the law for governorates unorganized in a region."

Jameel emphasized, "We legally organized Kirkuk's voters' registry, encompassing all voters since 1957, those covered by Article 140, and anyone with a ration card before 2003, adding 80,000 voters in the update."

"We presented the voter registry for objections and challenges to all relevant authorities within a specified time frame and received no objections or challenges against the registry," Jameel asserted, considering Kirkuk's voter registry among the credible electoral records in the governorates.

Jameel urged all objectors to "provide evidence and proof if there are individuals in the voter registry outside the legal election parameters, and we will handle it with utmost seriousness."

In 2005, Kurdish political parties participated in Kirkuk Provincial Council elections under the "Brotherhood List" and secured 26 out of 41 council seats.

According to Iraq's IHEC, 16 coalitions will compete for 15 seats in the Kirkuk Provincial Council, where Kurds will enter the elections with various lists and alliances.

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