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Kurdish parties urge KDP to reverse election boycott decision

By Rudaw 22/1/2018
An Iraqi flag hangs on Kirkuk’s citadel last December. Photo: Hiwa Hussamadin/Rudaw
An Iraqi flag hangs on Kirkuk’s citadel last December. Photo: Hiwa Hussamadin/Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdish parties in Kirkuk called on the KDP to reverse its decision to boycott Iraqi elections in Kirkuk province, arguing the move will cost Kurdish votes and hurt unity in the disputed region. 

“I believe this is a very bad and inappropriate decision because, due to the fact that the Kurdish house is in disunity, it was not the right time,” Rawand Mala Mahmood, an official from the PUK in Kirkuk, told Rudaw.

“If KDP considers Kirkuk a Kurdistani area, then why does it boycott the elections and what is its alternative,” Mahmood added.

KDP announced last Monday that they will boycott elections in Kirkuk, which it describes as “under military occupation” since being taken by Iraqi forces in October.

Elections cannot be held under occupation, KDP asserted, explaining why it was boycotting the May 12 vote in Kirkuk. 

Gorran said that it is a “national duty” to participate in the elections after losing the majority of the disputed areas to Iraqi forces. 

“What we have lost militarily can be regained through elections, so it is a national duty that all Kurdish political parties should emphatically encourage the Kurdish people in these areas to participate in elections,” said Hakim Mohammed, head of Gorran’s office in Kirkuk.

Gorran is the largest opposition party in the KRG and has fiercely opposed the KDP and its policies. It has formed an alliance with two other opposition parties, the Islamic Group (Komal), and the Coalition for Justice and Democracy (CDJ), forming a joint electoral list named “Nishtiman” in Kirkuk and the disputed territories.

“We believe that they should rethink their decision and try against to establish a joint list, joined by all Kurdish parties in Kirkuk for running in the elections,” Sayid Adnan, head of foreign relations for the KIU’s office of Kirkuk, told Rudaw.

The KIU is part of another list, named “Kirkuk Is Our Destiny,” that has registered with Iraq’s electoral commission. Also on the list are the PUK, the Communist party, and Kurdistan Toiler’s party. KIU is asking that all parties join this list.

The Kurdistan Islamic Movement (KIM) has boycotted Iraqi elections, citing Kurdish disunity as the reason.

KDP had advocated for a joint list for all Kurdish parties, however it never came to fruition.


Muraz Adzhoev | 23/1/2018
The “alternative” to the elections now must be - to expel the invaders and to free Kirkuk from the Iraqi occupation and then to conduct the elections in all previously so called “disputed areas”, which in accordance with the legitimate self-determination Referendum and the sovereign decision of the People actually became the areas of reintegrated and independent Southern Kurdistan. The elections in the occupied Kirkuk will legitimize the Iraqi occupation and also the betrayal, and will violate the binding sovereign self-determination decision of the People, all ethnic communities and religious groups of Southern Kurdistan. All patriotic political parties and public organizations must officially and unanimously declare any elections in occupied areas of Southern Kurdistan illegitimate and unacceptable. This is now the most important matter of freedom, existence and future of Southern Kurdistan. Suppose the officials from the PUK party would better think twice before talking about “bad and inappropriate decisions” of others on the elections in betrayed and occupied Kirkuk, would not they? Start at last to think about Kurdistan and the People of Kurdistan, which is much more significant and essential than elections and political completions for “seats and shares”. Enough.
Johndough | 23/1/2018
Now go take the Iraqi military hardwares ; then eliminate Goran and PUK traitors with Iran.
JOsh | 23/1/2018
Reverse this decision to boycott - it is a misstake
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