Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq suspends Kurdistan Region Election procedures

Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq suspends Kurdistan Region Election procedures
Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq suspends Kurdistan Region Election procedures

Shafaq News/ The Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq announced on Thursday that it will accept an appeal temporarily halting the technical and financial preparations for the upcoming elections in the Kurdistan Region.

According to an official document issued by the council, the Election Commission deemed it necessary to suspend all ongoing technical and financial procedures. This includes the allocation of devices, the printing of ballot papers, the work of the auditing company, and the execution of tasks outlined in the operational timetable for the elections.

The document further indicated that these crucial aspects cannot proceed from a technical and procedural standpoint until the case is resolved before the Federal Supreme Court.

Earlier, sources told Shafaq News Agency that the Board of Commissioners of the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission decided to suspend the technical and financial procedures related to the 2024 Kurdistan Parliament elections.

Later, the Board issued a statement explaining that the decision was made "pending the resolution of the lawsuit before the Federal Supreme Court, numbered 12/Federal/2024."

According to a statement from the Federal Supreme Court's media office, "The Court considered on 7/5/2024, the request submitted by the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Masrour Barzani, which includes issuing an order in lawsuit number 126/Federal/2024 pending the resolution of the lawsuit."

The statement added, "The court decided to suspend the implementation of clause second of Article 2 of the system for registering candidate lists and approving them for the elections of the Kurdistan Region Parliament, numbered 7 for the year 2024, which states: The Kurdistan Region Parliament consists of 100 seats distributed among the following electoral districts: Erbil Governorate / 34 seats - al-Sulaymaniya Governorate / 38 seats - Duhok Governorate / 25 seats - Halabja Governorate / 3 seats, pending the resolution of the lawsuit, to avoid the potential consequences that may be difficult to rectify in the future."

In response, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), through its electoral office, decided to appeal against the decision.

Saadi Pireh, PUK's official spokesperson, stated that the Supreme Federal Court "rushed to issue the special order regarding the second paragraph of Article 2, concerning the registration and approval process for the candidate lists for the Kurdistan Parliament elections No. 7 for 2024."

He added that "instead, the Court should have taken into consideration the cost and circumstances of the elections."

Notably, the Supreme Court issued another controversial decision on February 21st, 2024, regarding the Kurdistan Parliament Election Law. This decision included canceling minority "quota" seats and replacing the Kurdistan Electoral Commission with the federal one.

Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani stated that the Federal Supreme Court's decision to cancel the component quotas in the Kurdistan Region parliamentary elections is a "blow to partnership and coexistence."

Following the Court's decision, the KDP announced its boycott of the parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Region scheduled for June, threatening to withdraw from the political process in Iraq if political parties in Baghdad did not adhere to the agreements leading to the formation of the Iraqi government.

The number of eligible voters in the Kurdistan Parliament elections is approximately 3.7 million people.

The last elections, held in 2018, saw the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) win 45 out of 111 seats, while the PUK won 21 seats.

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