• Baghdad

  • Friday, February 23, 2024 at 5:33 AM
    Last Update : Friday, March 1, 2024 at 9:25 AM

Iraqi Federal Supreme Court Rules Kurdistan Election Law Articles Unconstitutional

(AWP) - Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court has deemed several articles within Kurdistan’s Regional Government (KRG) election laws as unconstitutional, ending controversy over the possibility of holding the region’s elections before the term of the current Electoral Commission expires in June.

The judgment follows a complaint filed by the former MP in the Kurdistan parliament for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Ziyad Jabbar, and the former member of the Sulaymaniyah Provincial Council, Amanj Najeeb Shamoon, in which they called for the abolition of five articles within the Kurdistan election law.

The recent court ruling states that parliamentary seats will decrease to 100, and that the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) will replace the Kurdistan Electoral and Referendum Commission in overseeing northern Iraq’s regional elections.

Sobhi al-Mandalawi, a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, said, “The [Kurdistan] Democratic Party is not afraid of elections in any law or form, but there are others who may try to benefit by changing some articles of the law, especially regarding electoral districts and the representation of components.”

He added, “We have had many dialogues with other parties, especially members of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. There may be an insistence on achieving narrow partisan gains, but we are determined to protect the rights of our people of all sects and components.”

Mahmoud Khoshnaw, the KRG’s political advisor, said that “when the Federal Court accepts the lawsuit, it directs [the issue] towards a different path, which we believe is the constitutional path, with the constitutionality of other articles and the unconstitutionality of some articles related to the [electoral] quota, electoral districts, voter registration, and equal opportunities.”

He added, “Therefore, at that point, the High Electoral Commission in Baghdad will have procedures according to the timetable for holding the elections, and the presidency of the region will set a new date, and of course, everyone will proceed with holding the elections. Therefore, the decisions of the Federal Court are final and binding on all authorities and are not subject to appeal.”

According to IHEC data, approximately 3.8 million people are eligible to vote in Kurdistan’s regional elections, of whom 2.35 million have obtained electoral cards.