Friday, March 13, 2009

Kurdistan elections may delay

Necessary amendments still needed to launch for the elections

BY Ako Muhammed

Kurdistan Parliament Speaker Adnan Mufti announced Tuesday that The Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq (IECI) may decided for delaying the Kurdistan parliamentary election that was been supposed to on the coming May. He explained that the delay can be for a month or two and the reason is that suggested amendments are needed to be completed on the general law in the region.

“Delaying the elections is an issue within the authority of the IECI which will deliver its opinion about the issue. We are in contact with it (the IECI) although it has declared it needs three months from the first day of receiving the elections law,” stated Mufti during a press conference held after a session of the parliament. The session discussed amendments demanded by the Kurdistan region Presidency on the elections law. It also discussed a demand offered by ten parliament members who called for adapting open lists system in stead of closed ones in the elections which are dated to May 19.

The parliament speaker explained that offering the law to the electoral commission will delay because of the wanted amendments. He added that in case of approving the ten parliament members’ demand for open lists system was approves, and then it requires longer time for reviewing the whole law. But he assured, “if the commission had to delay the elections, then cannot be longer than two months.
Pointing finger to a demand by the presidency which asked for authorizing the Kurdistan IECI office to run the election, Mufti explained that the commission in the region is a only an office belonged to the IECI based in Baghdad. “If we want our own commission, it requires issuing a law for it and the dedicating private budget and employees for it,” he added.

Also, allowing the Kurdistan people outside Iraq to take part in the elections is an issue must be met by the IECI, Mufti said.

The parliament’s works end by completing four years and elections must be held, stated Mufti and declared, “it (the parliament) will not lose legitimacy because of a reason out of control.” However, the parliament will not be able to issue law after June 4, when the four years complete. Still the parliament can remain for watching the government works and the people’s problems during that period.

Any possible delay is not because of political hinders but it is related to technical preparations. The speaker declined if the Kurdistan patriotic Union (PUK) internal crises have influence on delaying the elections.

“We haven’t received any demand of that kind and never heard about it. Also in the parliament does not halt its process because of a problem happens somewhere,” assured Mufti and expressed hope for holding the elections on date and if there was delays, not to be more than a week.

On early February, the Kurdistan Region Presidency returned the recently amended elections law to the parliament suggesting for extra amendments. The presidency’s main concern were authorizing Kurdistan Commission to run the election and also to allow Kurdistan people living abroad to take part in the elections.

The Kurdish Globe

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