SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — Printing houses in Sulaimani have been filled with posters and banners on which slogans and promises of candidates and political parties have been designed within the last few days.
The campaign for the Iraqi parliament election began in the Kurdistan Region on Sunday. Campaigning within Iraq already started on Saturday, as Kurdistan observed the Anfal memorial day.
Hawzhin Mohammed, a print house owner in Sulaimani, told Rudaw they have been "under a lot of pressure" recently as candidates are hurrying to make banners and posters ahead of the election on May 12.
"Most of the candidates from all parties have come and we have served them," he added. "No political party has explicitly come."
He explained they have mostly been printing cards and posters.
After Sunday, streets and blocks will be fully covered with a spider net of the flags and slogans of political parties.
Some recently criticized candidates for printing their posters abroad.
Compared to the previous election, printing prices has been slashed by more than half after in light of the financial crisis which plagued the Kurdistan Region since early 2014.
"We regularly work for eight hours [a day], but now we work 24 hours a day. Some 1,200 meters of printing is done per day," Omar Zorbash, another print house owner, told Rudaw.
PUK officials have expressed that those parties who began early campaigning, which is prohibited according to election regulations, need to be held to account.
"Measures should be taken against those who have prematurely begun campaigning," Bryar Rashid, the spokesperson for PUK's election body, said. "As the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, we will begin campaigning on April 15, the appointed date [by the commission] for the beginning of election campaign in the Kurdistan Region. "
Rashid added their "program and focus are not merely on what to do to win, but on what to do to serve people, and what to do to save people from this situation as well as leading them towards a better life."
Rizgar Aji Goran, head of KDP's election office in Sulaimani said their campaigning will be according to the regulations of the elections body.
"We will begin our campaign on the legal date and end it 48 hours before elections," Goran said.