Shafaq News / Arshad Al-Salehi, the head of the Turkmen parliamentary bloc, urged the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) to conduct an audit of the voter registry in Kirkuk ahead of the upcoming local elections, describing the registry as "fake".
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Al-Salehi emphasized that the success of the Kirkuk Provincial Council elections and ensuring their integrity hinges on scrutinizing the voter registry. He added that this audit is necessary to uncover forgery and manipulation in the registration of thousands of families brought in from other governorate.
Al-Salehi pointed out that Kirkuk has undergone significant demographic changes over the years, urging the IHEC to clarify its position and procedures regarding the auditing of the fraudulent voter registry.
He emphasized that the Turkmen bloc will take legal and public action if the IHEC does not carry out the auditing process.
Al-Salehi warned that Kirkuk is a sensitive governorate, and any attempt to ignore the will of its constituents will have serious consequences. He expressed hope for cooperation and transparency to ensure fair and unbiased elections that reflect the will of Kirkuk's diverse population.
Kirkuk is a disputed region between Erbil and Baghdad, governed by Article 140 of the constitution. It used to be jointly administered by the Kurdistan Region and the federal government until the 2017 independence referendum.
Article 140 calls for the reversal of Saddam Hussein's demographic policies in the disputed areas that favored Arabs at the expense of Kurds, followed by a population census and a final referendum in which residents decide whether they want to join the Kurdistan Region or remain under Baghdad's administration.
The implementation of Article 140 was supposed to be completed by the end of 2007, but security and political issues prevented its execution. The Federal Supreme Court in 2019 ruled to uphold Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution until its requirements are fully met and its objectives realized.