KDP leader denies party withdrawal from Kurdistan parliamentary elections

KDP leader denies party withdrawal from Kurdistan parliamentary elections

Shafaq News/ A senior leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) denied on Friday that his party would withdraw from the upcoming Kurdistan Parliament elections, despite concerns about the legality of the election law.

Nouri Hama Ali, a member of the KDP's politburo, told reporters that the party had "reservations" about the law, but that it would not boycott the elections.

"The KDP has not withdrawn from the elections," Ali said. "Our statement was clear about the concerns we have about the election law, but we will not withdraw."

Last Monday, KDP said it would boycott a parliamentary election in the semi-autonomous region in protest over a ruling issued by the federal supreme court.

The northern region's dominant KDP said in a statement that Iraq's federal court had violated the constitution and undermined regional authorities following a ruling in February that amended the Kurdish region's election law.

Iraq's federal supreme court ruled to cancel 11 seats reserved for minority groups, including Turkmen, Assyrians and Armenians, reducing the number of regional parliament seats to 100.

The February ruling also changed the electoral system to divide the Kurdistan region into four constituencies instead of the single-constituency system adopted in the previous elections in 2018, prompting the KDP to reject it as unconstitutional.

The federal court ruling also gave authority to the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) to organise and oversee regional elections instead of the Kurdish regional election commission.

The ruling by the federal court came after a lawsuit by KDP's historic rival and junior coalition partner in government, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), according to a court document seen by Reuters and the party's lawyers.

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Alina Romanowski expressed concern over the KDP decision to boycott the June regional elections.

“We are concerned by KDP's announcement to boycott the Iraqi Kurdistan Region elections. We urge the Government of Iraq & the Kurdistan Regional Government to ensure that elections are free, fair, transparent, & credible.” Romanowski said on social media platform X on Monday.

The PUK is committed to holding Kurdistan parliamentary elections on June 10, PUK spokesman Saadi Ahmed said in a statement following the Kurdish PDK decision.

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