KDP yet to submit papers for Kurdistan elections: IHEC

KDP yet to submit papers for Kurdistan elections: IHEC

Shafaq News/ The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has not yet submitted its papers to participate in the upcoming parliamentary election of the region, the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) in Erbil announced on Sunday.

Farhad Asad, IHEC official in Erbil, said at a press conference that the commission has processed the applications of 18 independent candidates. He said that political parties that submitted their applications were the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the New Generation Movement, the People's Movement, the National Alliance, the Change Movement (Gorran), Kurdistan Islamic Movement (KIM), Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU).

Asad noted that "the KDP has not visited the IHEC to submit its participation papers."

Earlier in March, KDP said it would boycott a parliamentary election in the semi-autonomous Region scheduled to be held in June.

The northern region's most powerful party 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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