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Kurdish parties finalizing candidates for Iraqi elections

By Rudaw 10/2/2018
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Kurdish parties finalizing candidates for Iraqi elections
Supporters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) wave banners of their parties during the 2013 legislative elections. Photo: Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – As the Iraqi parliamentary election date nears, Kurdish parties are finalizing their candidate lists for an election that is taking place at a crossroads in relations between Erbil and Baghdad.

The final decision for who will represent the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) rests with the leadership council.

“We are about to finish the list of the candidates who have been promoted by party organs,” said Rizgar Aji Goran, head of the KDP elections office in Sulaimani.

“The final decision, according to the KDP bylaw, is vested in the politburo," Ali explained.

A senior Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) leader has urged that "decency" must become the basis of selecting PUK candidates.

“The selection of PUK candidates for the Iraqi parliament must be on the basis of loyalty, decency, and sophistication,” said Qubad Talabani, a senior PUK member and deputy prime minister of the KRG.

“Favoritism” must end, he stressed, noting that “the protection of PUK become everyone’s duty.”

 

“The selection of PUK candidates for the Iraqi parliament must be on the basis of loyalty, decency, and sophistication,” said Qubad Talabani, a senior Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) member and deputy prime minister of the KRG.

“Favoritism” must end, he stressed, noting that “the protection of PUK become everyone’s duty.”

The newly established the Coalition for Justice and Democracy (CDJ) is selecting candidates on the basis of knowledge and suitability.

“Taking into account two kinds of measures, we are selecting the ones to become our candidates,” Rebwar Karim, CDJ spokesperson said, explaining “one of which is a technical measure to assess to what extent the person has the potential and suits the position in terms of language and conduct to become a parliamentarian.”

The second measure, Karim said, is “the person’s scholastic knowledge. Being knowledgeable not only in terms of degree, but what they could offer to the people of Kurdistan from the parliament.”

Former KRG prime minister and second deputy secretary of the PUK, Barham Salih was elected head of the CDJ at the party’s first congress in Sulaimani last month where he pledged to fight corruption.

Candidates for the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) are voted for by party members in their own city offices.

“We are at the final stage of preparing the list. We have selected the majority of our candidates,” Mustafa Abdullah, head of KIU internal affairs, told Rudaw.

Abdullah added that the bulk of KIU candidates carry post-graduate degrees such as PhDs.

“Our candidates have political experience and they have demonstrated great examples in the past,” he said.

Gorran and the Kurdistan Islamic Group (Komal) are selecting candidates on the basis of their personal and political experience.

Iraq's parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place on May 12. The deadline for registering candidates is February 15.


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