Kurdistan suspends work in government institutions on election day

Kurdistan suspends work in government institutions on election day

Shafaq News/ On Wednesday, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced that all government departments and institutions will be closed on Monday, December 18, due to the provincial elections in Iraq.

The government statement said the work will be resumed on Tuesday, December 19.

Earlier, the Iraqi Supreme Security Committee declared the completion of preparations for the upcoming local elections.

Iraq is scheduled to hold provincial elections on December 18, 2023. The polls will be the first for local councils in 13 years after they were dissolved amid anti-government protests in 2019.

Last September, Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) announced that nearly 70 political parties and alliances and over 6,000 candidates will participate in the upcoming provincial council elections.

Nibras Abu Souda, a member of the IHEC media team, told our Agency that the competition will involve 29 political parties, 39 political alliances, and 66 individual candidates, including minority candidates. Unlike the 2021 elections, which were based on individual nominations, these elections will use an open list system.

The elections will be held in 15 of 18 Iraqi provinces, excluding the three provinces in the autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq.

The elections are a critical test for the Iraqi government and a potential turning point in the country's political climate. They will also be the first elections under a new electoral law passed in 2020.

The new proposed electoral law entails a return to the Sainte- Laguë method of proportional representation and is likely to favor smaller political parties and independent candidates. The law limits the number of candidates elected into the provincial councils and provides that there should be a minimum of 25% female candidates for election purposes.

The Sadrist Movement, The State of Law coalition, and the Kurdistan Democratic Party are among some major political parties that have announced they will participate in the elections.

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