Preparations for Kurdistan parliamentary elections underway

KDP leader Barzani meets with electoral commission officials

ERBIL — Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leader Masoud Barzani convened with key Iraqi electoral officials on Thursday to deliberate the preparations for the forthcoming parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Region, according to a statement from Barzani’s office.

The meeting, hosted at Barzani’s headquarters in Erbil’s Salahaddin district, was attended by Judge Abbas Farhan Hasan, head of the Electoral Department at the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) of Iraq, and Judge Amer Musa Mohammed, a member of the IHEC’s Board of Commissioners.

During the discussions, the officials exchanged perspectives on the readiness of the IHEC to facilitate transparent, free, and fair elections for the Kurdistan Region’s parliament.

In mid-March, the KDP declared its withdrawal from the upcoming elections scheduled for June 10, despite the date being set by Kurdistan Region’s President Nechirvan Barzani, a senior KDP figure. The decision followed a ruling from the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court that nullified minority representation seats in the Kurdistan Parliament and altered the electoral process from a single district to four electoral districts. The party has also missed the deadline set by the IHEC to submit a list of its candidates for the elections.

The KDP’s abstention from the electoral process has raised concerns about the viability of the elections, given the party’s status as Kurdistan’s primary governing entity, overseeing the Erbil and Duhok provinces.

Despite the KDP’s stance, the IHEC has pressed on with election preparations. The party insists its decision is not a boycott and expresses willingness to engage in parliamentary polls if conducted freely and fairly, without external interference—an indirect nod to speculation regarding Iran’s involvement behind the Federal Supreme Court’s rulings.

Certain news reports suggest that Nechirvan Barzani intends to convene a meeting with Kurdistan’s political parties next week to deliberate on the fate of the elections, including the possibility of a postponement.