According to new amendments proposed in the provincial council elections law, it has been stipulated that Kirkuk should be included in the process; meanwhile a quota seat has been demanded for the Kakayi religious community within the province.
The Iraqi parliament’s legal committee has been deliberating over the amendments in the past few months before parliament votes to pass the bill.
Allmas Fazil, member of the committee says lots of changes have been made to the draft law, some of them proposed by the electoral commission.
According to the amendments, Kirkuk is due to part in the provincial elections which have not been held there since 2005 due to ongoing disputes between the different components of the multi-ethnic province.
Allmas Fazil added that it has also been proposed that “a quota seat would be allocated for the kakayi community mostly settled in Kirkuk.
The kakayis have no quota seats in Iraq or the Kurdistan Region, but is expected that they would be given a seat in the Halabja provincial council which is yet to be elected.
“The committee suggested that the number of candidates would be twice the number of the council seats and that only 20% of candidates with degrees less than baccalaureate or diploma degrees are qualified”, said Allmas.
She also explained that the provincial council should serve no more than a 4-year term, and that security forces can cast their ballots in early voting.
Although the provincial elections were planned for December 2018, the process was delayed until further notice. The electoral commission is now making preparations to hold elections in November 2019.
Rizgar Haji Ali, member of the Independent high commission for elections, speaking to KirkukNow said, “We set the 16th of November 2019 for holding the elections, however the final decision lies with the council of ministers.
The last provincial elections were held in Iraq, except Kirkuk, in 2013. The multi-ethnic groups of Kirkuk have been in disarray over the need to clean up electoral registers and normalizing the situation there prior to the elections.