ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Six Kurdish political parties held a meeting on Tuesday to discuss their future plan of action regarding what they charge is neglect by Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) in addressing their concerns of fraud in Saturday's national parliamentary election.
“The IHEC has not listened to our worries, that our votes were tampered with and that our real voice – in the election – was not heard, making us lose hope,” head Erbil's office of the Gorran (Change) Movement Hemin Mohammed Shexani told Kurdistan 24 in an interview after the meeting.
In a statement released on behalf of the five parties the day before, Head of the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) Salahadin Bahadin rejected the announced results of the election in the Kurdistan Region and disputed areas, stating that “The main point of our meeting today is to decide how we face off with the authorities,” and stressed that they would first resort to legal routes to deal with the “injustice” they have faced.
“We have many options available to us, such as boycotting the political process in Iraq,” and added that, if they are prevented from taking legal actions then, “there are other options available.”
Participating in the meeting were senior party members of the KIU, Gorran, Kurdistan Islamic Group (Komal), Kurdistan Communist Party (KCP), Coalition for Justice and Democracy (CJD), and the Islamic Movement (IM).
“We hope we don’t have to resort to forming a military force of our own,” Shexani told Kurdistan 24 in response to rumors of Gorran forming a paramilitary unit.
He added that “our fight will be with those who silenced the voice of the public [through tampering with the electoral process],” and pointed out that they are not interested in “fratricidal war.”
On the night after the election, an armed group [alleged to have been associated with Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)] opened fire on the headquarters of Gorran in Sulaimani.
In a press conference earlier on Tuesday, all parties from the later meeting but CJD reiterated their rejection of the election results.
Editing by John J. Catherine.