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.