Kurdistan
PUK: Parties want Kurdistan's election delayed, but no formal request

 PUK: Parties want Kurdistan's election delayed, but no formal request


The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan says that all parties from the Kurdistan Region want parliamentary elections set for September 30 to be postponed, although there has been no formal request.

"I personally am of the opinion of the elections to be postponed to another time. Right now, our nation needs unity so as to not get divided even more,” Lahur Talabany, the head of PUK’s counterterrorism forces told reporters on Sunday.

Talabany sees an election in the Kurdistan Region possibly being exploited or overshadowed by the process currently underway to form a new government in Baghdad, where Kurdistani parties still can hold sway.

"If we again into electoral rivalries, then we might get all the more divided," said Talabany.

 

Most Kurdistani parties have insinuated that the PUK wants the election postponed. The Kurdistan Democratic Party has so far rejected the idea.

 

The Kurdistan Region’s election was postponed initially due to the events of October 16th. The last elections took place in 2013.

Media outlets reported that Brett McGurk, the US special presidential envoy, has asked parties to postpone the elections so that it doesn’t affect Iraq government formation talks.

"Frankly everyone wants it postponed, but no one dares to say it," the deputy PM of KRG Qubad Talabani told reporters on Monday on the ceremony of opening a new terminal in Sulaimani’s airport.

Talabani, however, revealed that the topic was merely in the stage of gossips and suggestions, nothing concrete so far.

 

“If it is to be postponed, then the parliament has to amend the law, and then the government can make a decision,” added Qubad, who is heading the PUK election list and currently KRG deputy PM.

The KDP list head Hemin Hawrami came out strongly in favor of holding the election on time.

"KDP is firmly with holding Kurdistan parliament elections as scheduled on September 30. NO POSTPONMENT. It is vital for our democracy and a new start for a better work in serving Our citizens. No excuses," he tweeted on Monday.

 

The head of the upstart New Generation, Shaswar Abdulwahid, has voiced his strong opposition to the suggestions to postpone elections.

“We categorically reject the attempts to postpone the parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Region as it constitutes violation of democratic rules and evasion from fulfilling the people’s demand to select their representatives through election,” wrote Abdulwahid on Sunday on Twitter.  

New Generation has never run in Kurdistan’s election. It won four seats in the Iraqi election in May, behind KDP, PUK, and Gorran.

“The ruling Kurdish parties are afraid of facing the masses and are resorting to attempts to postpone scheduled elections to remain on the seat of power. However, they have to be wary, because there is a limit to the patience of the people,” tweeted Abdulwahid.

Abdulwahid argued that if people are prevented from practicing their “natural right” of selecting their representatives then what is happening in the rest of Iraq, namely protests, will become the alternative.

Kurdistan’s High Independent Referendum and Electoral Commission announced on Sunday that there was insufficient funding to hold the vote abroad in the diaspora. 

Dates for official campaigning have not been announced.