Kurdish Parties Endeavour to Form Coalition for 2018 Elections

Soran Mohammed- Kirkuk The Kurdish parties have increased their efforts to form a coalition that includes all the Kurdish fractions and parties to stand for the upcoming parliamentary elections as one constituent to retain their former status in the forthcoming parliamentary elections. The Kurdish parties hold a meeting on Sunday 7/1 to confer the elections and discuss forming a coalition that is comprised of all the parties. The meeting ended without reaching a final agreement. Rawand Mala Mahmood, the head-deputy of PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) second office, told Kirkuk Now “like a unity in Kirkuk province said “that we in PUK in Kirkuk province suggested to all Kurdish parties to form a coalition to stand for the upcoming parliamentary elections in Iraq”. The minister presidency decided May 12, 2018 as set date for the 4th round of the Iraqi parliamentary elections and provincial elections, but neither the parliament not the political parties have given their consent on the stated date. “We held two meetings, and all the political parties have expressed their willingness to form a coalition, KDP (Kurdistan Democratic Party) also expressed its readiness to participate and be part of the coalition” as said by Rawand Mala Mahmood.

Kirkuk 7/1/2018: The meeting of Kurdish political parties. Photo: Kirkuk Now
He added that the aim of forming this coalition is to “maintain the unity of Kurds and its status in Kirkuk city”. After October 16, 2017 and Iraqi forces return to Kirkuk, the Kurdish parties set its activities on halt and KDP did not go back to Kirkuk.” The PDK third brand head, Mohammed Khurshid, told Kirkuk Now “we pay attention more than anyone else to the unity of Kurds, and from our side we showed willingness to participate in the establishment of united coalition that includes all the Kurdish political parties to stand for the upcoming parliamentary elections”. Khurshid also added “we have to prevail the national interest on personal interest and this is the best we can present to people in the province.” The allocated seats for Kirkuk in the Iraqi parliament are 12 from a total 360. The Kurdish parties had 8 seats in 2014 elections, while the Arabs and Turkmans had 2 seats for each. The Kurdish parties aim at the formation of a united coalition to preserve the number of seats in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Kirkuk April 2014. The election campaign in Kirkuk. Photo: Kirkuk Now
The secretary of Goran Movement in Kirkuk, Mohammed Guldarayi in a talk to Kirkuk Now said “from the beginning and as Goran Movement we were the participation of Kurds in one list in the Iraqi elections, because we would win if we get united, and participating in more than a list will not serve people in the province.” Following the steps of Kurdish parties, other components also started their talks about the coming elections as some political partied are attempting to delay the elections till further notice. An official in Kurdistan Islamic Group, Mohammed Khalil, told Kirkuk Now “we must not sacrifice Kirkuk for Irbil and Sulaymaniay, and we previously in 2010 asked all the Kurdish parties for the necessity of one list in the elections, but all our attempts have failed in the last day and each party come in its own individual list in the elections. In addition to the Iraqi parliamentary elections, Kirkuk is having provincial elections that the province did not held because of conflict between the province ethnicities since 2005. The head of relations and elections in the Islamic Group added that the only solution is to participate in one list for Kirkuk in order to maintain the status of Kurds in the province.

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