Sweden will hold general elections on Sunday. Photo: Furnished
STOCKHOLM, Sweden – Twenty eight Kurds are running for office in Sweden’s general elections which will be held on Sunday.
“In the past, the Kurds had a chance to win parliamentary seats with four different parties, with whom six Kurds secured parliamentary seats. But in this round of elections, the Kurds have a chance to win seats with two parties, mainly with the Social Democratic Party,” said Kurdo Baksi, a writer and politician.
He expects the number of Kurdish MP to drop in a country with approximately 90,000 eligible Kurdish voters.
There is a Kurdish diaspora, according to Baksi, “who are not active and don’t care about elections."
“There are many Kurds who don’t vote. They are not interested in politics. And this eventually affects the number of Kurdish MPs as well as the Kurdish question in the Swedish government,” said Sarkan Kosa, current MP and candidate with the Social Democratic Party.
The Kurds mainly vote in parliamentary elections. Many ignore council elections.
“The local politics, welfare system, budget, school policies and tens of other services are related to councils and regions. That is why it is very important to have Kurds in these centers. But unfortunately there are Kurds who don’t even know there is such a thing as council elections,” said Razhan Ibrahim, 24, who works with the liberal party.
She said many Kurds aren’t even aware there are leading Kurdish politicians.
There are about 150,000 Kurds living in Sweden, and nearly 90,000 of them are eligible to vote, Razhan said.
“The Kurds are doing much better than other nationalities. But there are still Kurds who have been living for 12 years in this country, yet don’t know whether they are eligible to vote,” Salam Qadirzada, a Kurdish candidate with the Left Party running for Uppsala council.
Sweden and Kurdistan have longstanding political and diplomatic relations. Kurdish Muslims and Assyrian Christians have at different time sought asylum in the Scandinavian country.