Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) leadership council member Nasrullah Surchi gives a press conference, May 14, 2018. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) leadership council member Nasrullah Surchi has accused the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of election fraud in Nineveh and Shingal, claiming the party blocked roads into Mosul, tampered with ballot boxes, and intimidated voters.
“They [KDP] coordinated between the Khazer checkpoint with the party’s political committee in that area to prohibit travelling to Mosul because our list got ahead of the KDP list,” Surchi, head of PUK’s office in Mosul, told a press conference on Monday.
“They say they don’t accept any list in that area to get ahead of their list,” Surchi claimed.
The KDP claims it had obtained seven seats in Nineveh province. Surchi says the KDP has only obtained four, while the PUK secured one.
He claimed KDP gunmen fired at the homes of PUK supporters. He also claimed the KDP hid Shingal’s ballot boxes in a warehouse for three days ahead of the vote and allowed security forces and Asayish to enter polling stations to intimidate voters.
“Wherever people are, they are free. They [KDP] don’t have the right to behave in this way with our cadres and supporters,” Surchi said.
The PUK has filed 38 complaints in Duhok and eight in Mosul with the election commission, he said.
The PUK itself is under fire for alleged fraud in Kirkuk and Sulaimani. The KDP, the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), the Change Movement (Gorran), the Coalition for Democracy and Justice (CDJ), Komal, the Kurdistan Communist Party, and the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) have accused the PUK of rigging the vote.
Surchi said the PUK is ready to commit to whatever decision the electoral commission makes, and that everyone has the right to file complaints for violations.
Six Kurdish parties met in Erbil on Monday to discuss their joint response to allegations of fraud. They have asked the commission to rerun the entire electoral process in the Kurdistan Region, Kirkuk and the disputed territories.
Incumbent Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi, whose Nasr (Victory) coalition has performed far worse than many polls predicted, has called on parities and citizens to respect the results.