ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Masoud Barzani, the President of Kurdistan’s leading Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), said his party is ready for any procedure regarding the elections process, including a redo of the parliamentary elections.
Barzani received US Ambassador to Iraq Douglas Silliman and an accompanying delegation in Erbil on Monday to discuss the latest political developments in Iraq.
Regarding the elections process and results, Barzani expressed concerns over the work of the electoral commission, management of the electoral process, manipulation of the results, and allegations of fraud, a readout of the meeting published on the KDP President’s website said.
He noted that the KDP did not have any representative in the electoral commission and conveyed his party’s readiness for any measure taken to remove doubts and ensure the integrity of the elections process whether through a manual recount of votes, a follow up of appeals, or even a redo of the elections.
In the aftermath of widespread allegations of electoral fraud and violations during the vote, the Iraqi Parliament passed a law last week mandating the manual recount of ballots across the country.
The Parliament’s decision also included the annulment of early votes cast by security and Peshmerga forces in the Kurdistan Region.
Barzani rejected any attempts to manipulate the results of the ballots or cancel the votes of the Peshmerga forces, stating that such measures are “unacceptable.”
“Working on removing Peshmerga votes is a serious gesture, and the decision aims at canceling the future and destiny of Kurdistan,” he said. “We stand firmly against this unjust decision.”
In the meeting, the US ambassador highlighted Barzani’s and the Kurdistan Region’s role in the Iraqi political process and post-election stage. Silliman also reiterated the US’ interest in maintaining a strong Kurdistan Region that plays an active role in the political process of Iraq.
“Both sides exchanged views about the recent political developments and emergence of a new equation in Iraq and post-election stage as well as the efforts of forming a new government,” the statement read.
Barzani reiterated that the Kurdistan Region’s priority is abidance by “the principles of partnership, harmony, and balance in various areas of governance” which need to be considered by all the Iraqi political parties.
The KDP President stressed that these principles must be the foundation for any agreement on the issues and formation of the new Iraqi government.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany