Campaigning has begun. Some forty-two political parties and dozens of candidates kicked off the beginning of the campaign ahead of the Kurdish parliamentary elections in the three provinces of Duhok, Irbil, and Suleimaniyeh. They will be vying for 111 seats.
While there has been talk of holding the elections on 19 May, KRG President Masud Barzani will not declare the official date of the election until a special session of parliament in a few days. According to sources from the high electoral commission, the election will be held in early June.
Elections were held in 14 of Iraq’s 18 provinces on 31 January, but it was left to the Kurdish parliament to set a date for polls in the northern Kurdish provinces that form the Kurdistan Regional Government.
Of the 111 seats, certain allocations have been made:
- Turkomen: 5 seats
- Armenian: 1 seat
- Christian minorities (Chaldean and Assyrian): 5 seats
- Women: 33 seats
Four candidates are running for the single Armenian seat in the legislature and three parties are competing for five Turkomen seats.
At yesterday’s close of registration, 42 political blocs had registered for parliamentary elections. Head of the Independent High Electoral Commission in the KRG, Ali Qadir, said in a press conference yesterday that of the 42 registered political entities 22 of them are participating for the first time, while 20 others have participated in previous elections.
Some 2.5 million of the region’s estimated 4 million Kurds are eligible to vote. About 84 polling centres have been set up for the elections.
42 Political entities registered to stand for Kurdistan Parliament elections, 28 April 2009, PUKmedia, Pukmedia.com.
42 political entities take part in parliament elections, 28 April 2009, KurdSat.
Campaigning For Kurdish Parliamentary Elections Begins, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 29 April 2009.
Registration for parliamentary polls in Kurdistan ends, Aswat al-Iraq, 28 April 2009.
Tomlinson, Hugh. Kurdish parliament amends election law. MEED Middle East Business Intelligence, 25 March 2009.