Syrian Kurdish-led administration postpones regional elections
AMUDA, Syrian Kurdistan (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdish authorities of Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) on Tuesday said they postponed the third phase of elections to form an assembly that will act as a parliament for a federal system of government in northern Syria.
Speaking to Kurdistan 24, Ruken Mele Ibrahim, head of the Election High Commission in the Jazira canton of Rojava, said they delayed the elections for administrative and technical reasons.
“Currently, members of the Election High Commission have not finalized the procedures of the previous elections yet,” she said.
“We are still busy with electing the co-chairs of municipalities and communes in the cantons,” she added.
Mele Ibrahim explained that the political parties which did not participate in the previous elections could take part in the third phase.
“Now, they can get the license from the self-administration, and then they can participate in the final round of elections,” she said.
The election highlights the ambitions of Kurdish groups and their allies that control close to a quarter of Syria whose stated aim is to secure autonomy as part of a decentralized Syria.
The groups insist they do not want to follow the example of the Kurds in the Kurdistan Region, whose vote in an independence referendum last September prompted Western opposition and fierce resistance from Baghdad, Ankara, and Tehran.
Northern Syrians held the first phase of elections in September, where voters picked leaders for some 3,700 communes spread across three regions of the north where Kurdish groups have established autonomous rule since the Syrian civil war erupted in 2011.
The self-administration had already decided that the third round of elections would be held on Jan. 19, but for technical and administrative reasons they have been postponed until an unspecified date.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
(Additional reporting by Ferhad Ehme from Qamishlo)