KirkukNow Both Patriotic Union of Kurdistan [PUK] and the Kurdistan Democratic Party [KDP] can be found as major losers in Iraq as the third revision of parliamentary election law was approved, by losing many seats in parliament. Iraqi parliament approved the third amendment of the parliamentary election law on 6 June, which dictates the manual recount of all votes, disbanding the overseas ballots, and votes of the displaced and those who moved from another area, along with the special voting in the Kurdistan region. Why was the law amended? The amendment came after the increasing protest of many political parties in Iraq and the Kurdistan region, against the election results and the silence of the Independent High Election Commission [IHEC]. The protesting parties were insisting on the claim that some political parties rigged the results. Thus, Iraqi parliament decided to disband the votes of internally displaced, special voting the in the Kurdistan region, overseas ballots, and the people who voted outside their residence. The decision also suspended all the activities of IHEC.
We are concerned about disbanding tens of thousands of ballot boxes in the special voting process, which for sure impacts the number of votes and seats for usBoth Ninewa and Kirkuk provinces, along with the Kurdistan region, have the lion's share in the changes that the amendment made, PUK and KDP are the major losers. How would PUK lose? PUK is the major loser in Kirkuk province. Currently, the party has six seats, half of the total parliamentary seats in the region. It also won eight seats out of 18 in Sulaimaniyah. According to the statistics of PUK election bureau, which was sent to KirkukNow, around 40 thousand Kurdish voters voted outside of Kirkuk, as they reside in Sulaimaniyah and Erbil, which is called the residence-moving voting in Iraq. If half of these voters were to vote, it adds up to 20 thousand votes, around one seat, but the amendment disbands their votes. PUK claims to won the majority of such votes, and according to the election results, it would be the primary loser. PUK would also lose in the IDP votes, especially in Diyala and Kirkuk. PUK also loses two seats in the special voting, if the pattern of the last election is repeated which won 40 thousand votes. The whole process was disbanded for the Kurdistan region. Head of the Election Bureau of the KDP Khasraw Goran says in an interview with the Kurdish service of the Voice of America, “With disbanding IDP votes, the number of seats won by KDP in Mosul and PUK in Kirkuk will diminish because thousands of people are prevented from their rights.” KDP to lose seats in Ninewa and the Kurdistan region KDP won six seats in Ninewa as one of the most influential blocs in the province and expected to miss the most due to dismissing the votes of IDPs. KDP depends on IDP votes in the province, KDP is the major loser in overseas voting as well, although it is not a considerable amount, KDP won the majority among the Kurdish parties. Khasraw Goran says, “Disbanding the votes of overseas and IDPs, Yes, if those are dismissed, of course, it will impact our results.” Along with Kirkuk, IHEC opened ballot centres for those residents of Ninewa which were in Erbil and Duhok, in the resident-moving process, and KDP is to lose the most in rejecting their votes.
Instead of praising the role of peshmerga and Asaiysh forces, they might nullify their votes through a decisionIn the last election, KDP also had the majority of the special voting in the Kurdistan region, and the amendment may affect the number of seats the party had initially won. Khasraw Goran says, “We are not afraid of a manual recount, but disbanding of thousands of ballot boxes affect the number of votes and seats, for sure worries us.” Saeed Kakaiyi, a member of the suspended IHEC, told al-Mada website that disbanding some ballots “may disqualify 20 successful candidates with the new development, and another 20 will replace them”. What will PUK and KDP do? The same day of approving the amendment, PUK and KDP rejected the bill and insisted on filing an appeal in the federal court. PUK spokesman Saadi Ahmed Pira rejected the amendment in a press conference, calling it illegal, “What’s ashaming and worse of all, instead of praising the role of peshmerga and Asaiysh forces, they might nullify their votes with a decision.” PUK filed a lawsuit in the federal court late last week and is waiting for a response. While head of the KDP election bureau Khasraw Goran calls the legislative amendment “political” and says they filed a lawsuit in the federal court against them. “We are not afraid of a manual recount, but disbanding of thousands of ballot boxes affect the number of votes and seats, for sure worries us. Thus, we filed a lawsuit against the false and unconstitutional decision,” said Goran.