ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Kurdistan Region is set to hold a referendum on Sep. 25, 2017, and the ballot question will be in Kurdish, Arabic, Turkmen, and Assyrian languages, said a Kurdish official on Monday.
In a statement to Kurdistan24, the head of the Independent High Electoral and Referendum Commission (IHERC) Handren Mohammed explained the budget to hold the referendum is about $20 million.
“The budget will cover all logistic needs of the referendum,” Mohammed noted.
He stated in total, 12,000 poll stations would be arranged in the Region and disputed territories.
“There are six million people who are eligible to vote in the Kurdistan Region, including in the disputed territories,” Mohammed said.
“The ballot question will be identical for people in Kurdistan and the disputed territories,” he added.
Regarding diaspora Kurds, Mohammed mentioned the commission is currently discussing suitable ways for those outside of the Kurdistan Region to vote.
“Their participation in this important event would be highly considered,” he said.
“We are currently in talks with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Foreign Relations Department to find an appropriate mechanism,” Mohammed added.
The Head of the IHERC also mentioned they might consider using a mail ballot method for diaspora Kurds.
Mohammed noted ongoing meetings would take place between the IHERC, KRG, and the Kurdistan Region Presidency regarding the system and process of the referendum.
In another part of his speech, he stated they would hold meetings with UN teams in Iraq regarding the procedure.
“We will invite UN teams to monitor the referendum to make sure the process is transparent, and gains more international legitimacy,” IHERC Spokesperson Shirwan Zrari told Kurdistan24 on Monday.
On June 7, following a meeting with Kurdish political parties in Erbil, the President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani set Sep. 25, 2017, as the date of the independence referendum.
“I hope all the people of the Kurdistan Region will participate in the referendum and decide on their future,” President Barzani said on Sunday.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany