KRG’s electoral commission shortens campaign period, parties continue to call for delayed vote

KRG’s electoral commission shortens campaign period, parties continue to call for delayed vote

The Kurdistan Region’s electoral commission on Tuesday decided to postpone the start of the Sep. 30 election campaign for a week, as some parties are still asking for the vote to be delayed.


The Kurdistan Independent High Election and Referendum Commission (IHERC) decided to truncate the election campaigning period from one month to 25 days as it was set to start on Sep. 5


The spokesperson for the IHERC, Shirwan Zrari, in a press conference on Tuesday announced that by majority vote, the commissioners have decided to postpone the start of the campaign date to Sep. 11.


Zrari did not give further details as to why the campaign is being postponed, and could not respond to all questions. He stated, “I, myself, as a member of the Council of Commissioners, voted against it.”


The decision came as talks about postponing the election to next year heat up, becoming one of the most debated topics in the Kurdistan Region, with various parties publicly expressing their support to delay the poll.


Recently, officials from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) stated they would like to see the parliamentary election be postponed due to ‘the current situation’ in the Kurdistan Region, but stressed they are ready to go to the polls if others decide to hold the vote as scheduled.


The head of the Coalition for Democracy and Justice (CDJ), Barham Salih, earlier this week at a press conference with the Deputy Head of the leading Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Nechirvan Barzani, said his coalition would not participate in the upcoming regional election over issues with “some [voting] measures and the registration list of the electoral commission.”


On Tuesday, following the meeting between the KDP and Gorran (Change) movement, the spokesperson for Gorran, Shorsh Hajji, told reporters his party demands the postponement of the Sep. 30 election, claiming “the integrity of the list of registered voters is questionable, which could allow for fraud, and offers little transparency.”


Other parties, namely the KDP, stand firm on the election date and call for it to be held on time, stating there are “no reasonable arguments” to delay the vote.


Political analysts believe some parties in the Kurdistan Region are seeking to buy some more time to re-organize themselves and resolve their internal political matters ahead of the election.


The Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani, over the past few weeks has repeatedly stated that in spite of talks to delay the vote, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has received no official requests from any party to postpone the election.