Unhappy party leaders from the Kurdistan Region meet at a KIU office. File photo: KIU
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — Due to disagreements on the nature of their alliance time is running out for four Kurdish political parties who complained of vote rigging in last month’s elections to register a coalition with Iraq’s election commission.
Leaders of the four parties have held several rounds of talks in Sulaimani city to reach an agreement on forming an alliance for participation in forming a new Iraqi government, Aram Qadir of the Coalition for Justice and Democracy and Justice (CDJ) told Rudaw.
“All four sides agree in principle that even if we aren’t in a coalition we could still work together on a common project,” Qadir said.
The election commission has given the four parties until Monday to register their coalition.
The CDJ, Islamic League (Komal), Islamic Union (KIU) and Change Movement (Gorran) protested the results of the May 12th elections and reported rampant vote rigging. They have also demanded a manual recount of the votes.
Senior Gorran politician Muhammad Tofiq Rahim is skeptical that such an alliance could be formed, saying, “The project has so far been just words; otherwise, we could’ve seen something tangible by now.”
The KIU appears most keen on creating a four-party coalition under the name of “those whose votes were stolen” with the party leader Salahaddin Bahadin saying in a press conference last week that he is ready for such an alliance.
The KIU is said to be willing to form a two-party alliance with the group’s other Islamic party, Komal, if the four fail to reach an agreement.
Shirwan Shamerani, an advisor to Bahadin told Rudaw they have not received a clear answer from any of the parties especially from Barham Salih’s CDJ.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) with 25 and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) with 18 seats emerged as the winners of the May elections, and they are in the middle of their own negotiations with Iraqi political parties in Baghdad.
A Gorran official told Rudaw on the condition of anonymity that his party “does not believe in forming a coalition with anyone else because we’re a big party and see only the KDP as our rival.”
A coalition is good for smaller parties, he argued.
The head of Komal’s election body, Hawzhin Omar, disagreed.
“We cannot let go of the next four years of four parties without a plan and a proper project just like that,” Omar said.