SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) — Kurdish-Iranian parties in an unprecedented move announced in a Thursday joint press conference they will boycott the upcoming “undemocratic” elections.
The Democratic Party of Kurdistan in Iran (PDKI) and its split branch the Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK), the three branches of the Kurdish Communist Komala party, and Khabat party urged the people in the Kurdish Region of Iran (Rojhilat) not to participate in the May 19 elections.
“The ‘so-called’ elections will be carried out completely under the control of the Iranian regime. There are no democratic measures to ensure the elections will be open and free,” the parties stated.
“The Iranian regime does not allow for opposition; there is no freedom,” they added.
The parties believe there is much at stake for Iranian Kurds. “The Kurdish people in Iran have no rights as citizens,” underscoring the exclusion of an estimated ten million Kurds in the Iranian political system. “This election is meaningless.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has previously stated that his government would work for broader national and religious rights in the country including in the Kurdish regions, but the promises have largely remained unfulfilled.
Critics have accused the president of sidelining the largely impoverished Kurdish areas in the government’s fiscal planning and maintaining its crackdown of Kurdish activists.
The Kurdistan Human Rights Association also reported the government of Iran had executed 30 people in 2017 for political and security reasons, 27 of them were Kurds
The Guardian Council, the body in charge of vetting all candidates based on their loyalty to the ruling establishment, disqualified all but six, including former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who announced he was going to run despite pressure by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to abstain.
Iran’s official month-long presidential campaign period kicked off last week in the run-up to the May 19 election.
Two of the candidates worked under Ahmadinejad’s regime, and one played a prominent role in the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners.
Under Ahmadinejad’s rule, Kurds weren’t able to conduct any cultural activities for the Kurds as the government closed down the Kurdish magazines and newspapers.
Editing by Ava Homa