ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) committee on the disputed territories between the Kurdistan Region and Iraq is set to challenge an amendment to Iraq’s provincial election law at the Federal Supreme Court of Iraq, a Kurdish lawmaker said on Wednesday.
The committee on disputed territories had previously opposed the new election law that prevents Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from voting at the camps or anywhere other than their original hometowns, most of which are unsafe to return to.
Jwan Rozhbayani, a Kurdish lawmaker and head of the committee, said it had presented a proposal to the Kurdistan Parliament to challenge the new article in the election law which prevents IDPs from voting in their current locations.
“Our proposal was approved by the head of parliament, and today [Wednesday] our committee will assemble to notify a parliament advocate to register our petition at the Federal Supreme Court of Iraq next week,” she told Kurdistan 24.
“We have also prepared a report regarding the amendment in the provincial election law and how it contradicts the Iraqi Constitution.”
According to Rozhbayani, a significant number of citizens from Kirkuk and Mosul live in displacement camps and host communities in the Kurdistan Region. Poor living conditions and security concerns “prevent them from going back to their homes and vote,” she emphasized.
“Thousands of families from Nineveh, Diyala, Salahuddin, and Anbar governorates still live inside the camps in the Kurdistan Region and can’t go back to their homes to vote,” Rozhbayani added.
The amendment of the provincial election law was approved after the Iraqi Parliament voted and passed the bill in July 2019.
The Iraqi provincial election is set to begin on April 1, 2020.
Nearly five million Iraqis have been displaced since the so-called Islamic State overran two-thirds of the country in mid-2014. Authorities say half of them have returned to their homes, but the other half remain displaced, with most residing in the Kurdistan Region.
Although their areas have been liberated from the extremist group, about 1.1 million IDPs and refugees continue to stay in the autonomous Kurdish region due to a lack of security and essential services in their hometowns.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
(Additional reporting by Hemin Hossein)