ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The commander of Ezidi Peshmerga forces in Sinjar (Shingal), Qasim Shasho, told Kurdistan 24 on Friday that he has concerns of fraudulent activity in the Iraqi parliamentary election in the town.
“To prevent Kurds from getting enough votes, Arabs, who had previously sacked the city and murdered civilians, are being brought in to participate in the poll,” said the Ezidi commander in an interview.
The election will be held across Iraq on Saturday. A total of 6,904 candidates representing multiple parties are competing to fill 329 parliamentary seats.
Shasho continued, “We are certain that people will be brought here to vote in order to tip the results against the Kurds.”
He also pointed out that, “If allowed, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) will get 10 thousand votes... We have fears of KDP supporters being barred from voting, and that those currently holding power, through voting scams, will try to retain their positions.”
Many observers have raised concerns about the possibility of fraud in the elections, being held both in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. Many past efforts to prevent such violations have appeared unsuccessful.
During early voting that took place the day before, a Kurdistan 24 team was barred by Iraqi security forces from covering the polling process, despite presenting proper authorizations issued by Iraq's electoral commission allowing them to do so.
Editing by John J. Catherine