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Iran’s Kurdish opposition call for boycott of May elections

By Rudaw 28/4/2017
Six Kurdish opposition parties give a joint press conference in the city of Sulaimani on Thursday. Photo: Rudaw.
Six Kurdish opposition parties give a joint press conference in the city of Sulaimani on Thursday. Photo: Rudaw.
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region— Iran’s exiled Kurdish opposition groups have jointly called on Kurdish voters to boycott upcoming general elections in the country describing the May elections as “a masquerade” staged by “a regime that has deprived the human and just rights” of the people in Iran’s Kurdistan.  

The six leading opposition groups based in Kurdistan Region, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (HDK), the Kurdistan Communist Party (Komele), the Kurdistan Communist Party-Iran (Shorishger), the Kurdistan Struggle Orgniztaion (Xebat), the Kurdistan Democratic Party-Iran (HDKA) and the Iranian Kurdistan Communist Organisation said in a joint statement that the boycott of elections “is a way to prevent further oppression and crackdown through elections.”

“We call on all the people of Eastern Kurdistan (Iran) to boycott the May 19 elections as a consistent reaction to the continued violation of their rights,” the groups stated in a written statement Thursday. 

“By not participating in this masquerade, you will deliver a clear message to the world about your will and unity against a regime that continues to violate your human and just rights,” the statement said.   

Election campaigns for the post of the country’s presidency and city councils kicked off last week with the incumbent President Hasan Rouhani leading the so-called moderate camp against the conservative hardliners including Ebrahim Raisi, a potential successor to Iran’s supreme leader and former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  

Kurdish voters overwhelmingly voted for Rouhani in the 2013 elections whose campaign promises included recognition of broader Kurdish cultural and educational rights. But critics have slammed Rouhani’s administration over the past years for what they have described as a continuation of state-sponsored discrimination against Kurdish population in the country. 

“We think that the boycott will eventually impact the elections given the fact that almost all opposition parties in Iran have also called on their supporters for a boycott,” said Ibrahim Alizade, Secretary General of the Komele after reading the statement at a joint press conference in Sulaimani.  

With nearly 10 million Kurds living mostly in the western and northwestern parts of the country, Iran is home to the second largest population of Kurds after Turkey. 

The governates of West Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Kermanshah and Ilam are the four largest provinces with predominantly Kurdish inhabitants. 

Kermanshah province, with a population of 1 million, has repeatedly topped the list of the least developed provinces in the country, according government data. 


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Rojhelati Kurmanc | 28/4/2017
NATO and Israel should attack Iran, you will also get support from Kurds, Baloch, Arabs, Majority Iranians and Gilaki in Iran. Entire arab sunni world would help also.
Alp Turan | 28/4/2017
Iran is Terörlister, they need to destroyed
Don Ellis | 28/4/2017
Like when you boycotted the Turkish Referendum? Kurds may be the laziest people on Earth. you are taking this action (or ore aptly, non action) because you do not want to work for something you may or may not want
Moz | 28/4/2017
@rojhead.. Lol Iran was established 550 BC fool and I guarantee it will still be the same when all you Rudaw racists breath your last breaths, Iraq at its greatest military height was the strongest Arab nation, with the help of the world could not move Iran in 8 years whilst 1) we where having a revolution 2) we could not manufacture a single bullet. Totally opposite to now, BRING IT ON
Saman | 30/4/2017
@rohjelati I am a Gilaki and we have been a part of Iran since 2000bc and I would gladly put a bullet in your head along with any group that wants to fight Iran, @Alp mongol aren't you a wolf worshipping rat bastard. We will destroy you and your ugly Georgian monkey named erdodog.

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