Karwan Salihi-Kirkuk Independent High Electoral Commission approves the alternative for the displaced people due to the October 16th development in the disputed areas to be allowed to vote at their refugee camps in KRI provinces without the need to come back to their provinces. After the Iraqi security forces returned to the disputed areas on October 16th of the last year, and Peshmarga forces evacuated these areas, tens of thousands people, mostly Kurds, left their houses in Kirkuk, Tuz Khurmatu, and Nineveh and became refugees in KRI. Despite the fact that the majority of the refugees returned to their homes, still many families have not returned due to the fears of being assaulted by the security forces and militias. Also, because of the reason that Kirkuk-Erbil highway is still closed, the refugees may not return to vote. “The refugees, who live in the camps, or those who are displaced after October 16th, now are able to vote in KRI provinces without the need to return.” Abdul Al Basset, administrator of IHEC media and communication office in Kirkuk, told Kirkuknow. This decision is made by IHEC after this alternative was initially rejected by IHEC, itself, when first it was suggested. Mr. Abdul Al Basset added more and said, “Regardless of where these refugees vote, IHEC observes the process, and the votes will be added to Kirkuk province.” Based on a data of Kurdistan Regional Government, over 148 thousand people are displaced because of the October 16th development, and many of the refuges have not returned. As well, based on some unofficial data that electoral agencies of Kurdish political parties gave to Kirkuknow, more than 40 thousand voters, whose most of them are Kurds and live in Erbil, have not returned to Kirkuk. At two meetings, Kurdish political parties except KDP in Kirkuk, asked IHEC to allow thousands of refugees to vote by providing them special ballot boxes in KRI provinces.