The commission rejects the accusations
Two political parties in Kirkuk accused the commission for violations

Kirkuk-Kirkuknow The Arab Council and Turkmen Eli Party in Kirkuk have accused the independent high electoral commission of Iraq (IHCE) for weaknesses and violations in their mechanism in two different reacts, but the commission rejects that there would be any issue within their procedures. Today, on 24th March, the Arab council recommended the commission in a journalistic conference to work based on the Iraqi parliament decisions to finalize all the mechanisms of the elections and to include the refugees in the process. In a four points’ announcement, the same council besides accusing the commission for their poorly done works, they also think that it is significant to count on official recipes in distribution of electoral cards and to discontinue all the biometric record mechanisms to allow all the citizens to participate in the coming elections. As well, they demanded to let the refugees to participate in the elections through providing them election centers, and to establish commission offices in those areas that are not stable. Furthermore, the Arab Council is with working by preconditioned voting for those who have lost their electoral cards and there is not enough time left, or they are unable to renew their cards because they are refugees now.

Kirkuk, 24th March 2018. The Arab Council journalistic conference on the elections. Photo: Kirkuknow
It is decided to let the majority of the refugees including Hawija and other districts who were under the ISIS rule for few year participate in the coming elections through short-term electoral cards because either they have lost their cards, or thier cards are expired. In a journalistic conference, Turkmen Eli Party in Kirkuk in a different attempt than the Arab Council, on last Friday 22nd March, they demanded to do not work with preconditioned voting for the refugees, and they believe that there is time left for them to get new electoral cards. The same party is doubtful about the commission’s transparency of the election process, and for this, they accused the commission for violations in its mechanisms especially in distributing of the electoral cards without the parties’ observers attendance. According to Turkmen Eli’s administrators in Kirkuk, there are people who received more than one electoral card, and there is a possibility that Hawija residents would participate the elections without these cards meanwhile as the party says that those people should not be counted as refugees because they are residents of Kirkuk. The majority of Hawija (55 kilometers to the south-west of Kirkuk) and its sub-districts residents have not returned to their homes even though these areas were recaptured by Iraqi forces on September of last year after these areas had been controlled by Islamic State in the middle of 2014. Immad Wali, the independent high electoral commission of Iraq (IHCE) center executive in Kirkuk, informed Kirkuknow and said, “Under what circumstances we have performed poorly? We established 43 centers that we meet visitors, none-stop until 4:15 PM every day.” The same commission administrator rejects the accusations of the parties in Kirkuk ,and said that they have established centers in all the areas to renew the electoral cards including specialized centers for refugees. Immad Wali gave explanations about the electoral cards and said, “These cards are specialized to Hawija residents and those areas that were under Islamic State oppression, and the person who gets the card, should have renewed his/her records.” He also said that in order to get the cards, the person him/herself should come and get it, and it is not allowed for another person to get it instead. The Iraqi parliament election is decided to be run on 12th May of this year. 88 lists and alliances compete to get 329 seats which are divided on provinces and 24 million citizens who have the right to vote.  

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