Lawmaker warns against depriving four hundred thousands of their voting rights in Kurdistan

Lawmaker warns against depriving four hundred thousands of their voting rights in Kurdistan

Shafaq News/ The Deputy Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, Shakhwan Abdullah, on Tuesday said Baghdad recognizes the indispensability of the Kurdistan Democratic Party's in conducting a parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Region, warning against depriving hundreds of thousands of their voting rights.

"The parliamentary elections in Kurdistan will take place when all parties and political forces participate in them," Abdullah told reporters on Tuesday. "The observations made by the Kurdistan Democratic Party are vital, as they concern the Kurdish people in general."

"We are engaging in discussions with the Independent High Electoral Commission to address the technical issues requiring attention," he added. "For example, depriving 400,000 Kurdish voters from all parts of Kurdistan of voting rights is a constitutional violation."

On March 18, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) announced it would boycott the parliamentary election in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq scheduled to be held in June 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).

The PUK spokesman said that the Sulaymaniyah-based party is committed to holding Kurdistan parliamentary elections on June 10.

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