Politics & Economics

Controversy ahead of elections in the Kurdistan Region


With the Kurdistan elections set to be held on the 30th of September, controversy regarding participation has risen among both the population and the parties. Some political parties have decided to boycott the elections after their concerns surrounding the election lists were not addressed.

Set to take place on the 30th of September 2018, the Kurdistan Regional Elections have stirred up a lot of controversy amongst the local population and the political parties. Citizens have been contemplating on whether to vote or not, and a few political parties have boycotted these elections. Amongst these parties is the Coalition for Democracy and Justice (CDJ), which was founded by Barham Salih in 2017. Officials in the CDJ announced that they were boycotting the elections because of the problematic laws and legislation surrounding the election process. “We had many issues with the last elections, we had problems with the whole election process, as the election lists were not adequate, which led to fraud, we actually have an issue with the rulings surrounding the elections,” said Hassan Jihad, an official in the CDJ. The CDJ, amongst other parties, have accused the ruling parties of adjusting the system in their favour, which does not give an equal chance for others to compete.

“The laws surrounding the elections in Kurdistan are run by a single department, and so there is no balance, [or equality], we requested from the elections committee in Kurdistan to reform the laws and revise the lists of voters more accurately, and we have many other issues,” says Mr. Jihad.

Despite these allegations, officials in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and other participating parties have announced that the elections will take place on the determined date.

“We were determined to allow the elections to run on time, as this is the people’s right, and one of the main pillars of the democratic process,” said Sherko Jawdat, an MP in the KRG for Kurdistan Islamic Union. “We have become prepared, and we have organised all of the necessary requirements for the elections.”

This election is considered the 6th legislative election in the KRG since the regional government was established in 1992, and the first since the defeat of ISIS in 2017.