Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment


Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using





Kurdish parties tried and have failed to unite for Iraqi elections

By Rudaw 16/1/2018
Kurdistan flag flying next to Kirkuk's castle in early 2017. File photo: Rudaw
Kurdistan flag flying next to Kirkuk's castle in early 2017. File photo: Rudaw

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — A group of Kurdish parties met over the weekend to discuss running in Iraq’s May elections on a joint list in order to strengthen their hand in Baghdad, but failed to reach an agreement, Rudaw has learned. 

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) hosted the meeting at their politburo office on Saturday, with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), Kurdistan Socialist Democratic Party, Communist Party in Kurdistan, Kurdistan Toilers Party, and other parties in attendance. 

“Kurdistan Islamic Group [Komal] initially wanted to take part in the meeting… but eventually did not attend,” said an attendee at the meeting, speaking on condition of anonymity. 

“The meeting aimed to determine the mechanism of participating on one list in the elections,” said the source, adding, “Unfortunately we did not reach a conclusion because KIU withdrew and other parties had demands. PUK and KDP were left alone.” 

“Kurds have never been so divided,” the source said. 

This was not the first attempt to bring the parties together.

On January 7, the Kurdish parties, absent KDP, held a meeting at the PUK office in Kirkuk to discuss how to participate in the upcoming Iraqi elections and agreed to devise a new list consisting of all the Kurdistani parties. The KDP, which has refused to enter Kirkuk while it is under Iraqi military “occupation” agreed to the list over the phone. 

The would-be alliance ended when Gorran later withdrew. 

“KDP did not attend the meeting because of some reasons, but they expressed agreement to a Kurdistani list via a phone call. We then started the process of registering ‘Kirkuk Alliance is our Future’ with the commission of elections. But Gorran called me and said they will withdraw from the alliance,” said Rawand Mala Mahmoud, the PUK's office deputy in Kirkuk. 

Iraqi elections are scheduled for May. In the aftermath of the October 16 events when Iraqi forces took control of the disputed areas Kurds were expected to unite in preparation for the May vote, at least forming one list to run in Kirkuk and the other disputed areas. 

“The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) tried their best to take part on one Kurdistani list in the Iraqi elections, but the attempts were fruitless,” Khasraw Goran, head of KDP’s election office, told Rudaw.

“Similar to the 2014 elections, the Kurdish parties will seemingly participate in the elections each individually,” he said.  

Political pundits argue that 28,000 votes were lost in Kirkuk because Kurds did not run united in the 2014 elections. Gorran, KIU, and Komal ran on different lists. They garnered 28,609 votes, but were unable to win any seats. The PUK won six, and KDP two in Kirkuk. 

This year, Gorran, Komal, and the Coalition for Democracy and Justice (CDJ) have formed the joint Nishtiman list to run in Kirkuk and Nineveh provinces. 

The PUK’s Mala Mahmoud lamented the move. “Unfortunately, the Kurdish parties treat each other with irritation and vengeance. Arabs and Turkmen have formed one list, but Kurds are divided,” he said.

Mala Farman, a Gorran member in Kirkuk, said the coalition welcomes any party to join, but not PUK or KDP. 

“The door of our coalition is open to all the parties, except PUK and KDP, since these two parties have failed and brought calamities upon our people. People in Kirkuk and other areas will not vote for these two parties,” he said. 

This division of the parties compelled KIU to go it on their own, running independently in the Iraqi elections.

“For the Iraqi elections in Kirkuk and the areas within Article 140, the best choice for us is one list and a shared list of all Kurdistani parties. But we did not have that choice. We as KIU will take part as one list,” Hadi Ali, KIU spokesperson, told Rudaw. 

Kurds currently have 62 seats in the 328-seat Iraqi parliament. They have been influential in the formation of the government post-2003, including in the drafting of the constitution. 


duroi | 16/1/2018
In occupied disputed areas people suffered because of PUK actions and it is impossible to create a united front with PUK as part of it considering that PUK has failed to jail and punish those in PUK responsible for displacing hundred of thousands of Kurds. Post referendum PUK would have become the number 1 party if Talabani's family instead of inviting Baghdad to occupy Kirkuk has urged Baghdad to refrain from attacking and damaging PUK chance of capturing the KRG prime minister position in the November election. What a fatal political miscalculation by Talabani's.
Foreign friend | 16/1/2018
The Kurds need to unite and vote as a block in the Iraq national elections to exert their collective power to get the best deal in future negotiations with Baghdad.
Yassir Fekaiki
Yassir Fekaiki | 17/1/2018
Greed is a wonderful thing

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

FAUthman | 12/22/2018 1:21:49 AM
Not good news! very bad news in fact. Now US needs to reconsider the decision by the ass in the White House!"According to political sources in...
IranMan | 1/23/2019 2:51:12 AM
@Azad, "US pullout is a complete surrender to Iran" "Even low number of 2000 troops was contrary to his goal of containing Iran." "Used to be "oh...
US pullout strengthens Iran 'land bridge': analysts
| 21/12/2018 | (4)
kurd | 1/22/2019 11:28:38 PM
Russia has always been friend of thugs and dictators.
PolandIran | 1/23/2019 12:23:28 AM
WTF does Poland have anything to do with Iran?
Russia won’t attend US-Poland ‘anti-Iran’ summit
| yesterday at 07:18 | (3)
Desert Storm | 1/22/2019 7:33:27 PM
This article magically vanished from the front page, did Erdogans silent parter make a phone call?
OP | 1/22/2019 11:40:11 PM
Can Rudaw kindly limit the comments? some people are writing essays in here! comments are suppuse to be a sentence or two, 4-5 short sentences MAX. I...
McGurk laments Turkey’s ‘fundamental’ difference with coalition in ISIS fight
| yesterday at 09:58 | (11)
kurdo | 1/22/2019 9:28:52 AM
woman can have right when dogs drive cars, never. last 5 years made me become anti kurdish and people like me can damage kurds more because i know...
habib ipswich | 1/22/2019 10:36:14 PM
dont fool urself with these fancy dreams. you are as good as the daily bread and butter you put on the table. everything else is weehoo haahoo...
Women key to achieving gender equality in Kurdistan
| 20/1/2019 | (9)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

SDF cuts ISIS path to Iraq by taking al-Baghouz town 14 hours ago |

SDF cuts ISIS path to Iraq by taking al-Baghouz town

It was the last town ISIS held in Syria that more
Head of UN team to investigate ISIS crimes to meet with Sistani 16 hours ago |

Head of UN team to investigate ISIS crimes to meet with Sistani

Khan and his team will start their investigations more
0.484 seconds