KDP criticizes electoral commission, says commissioners were not neutral

“It has been proven that the IHEC was not successful in its duties and could not prevent fraud.”

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has strongly criticized the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) for the disappearance of Ezidi votes in Shingal as well as its inability to prevent fraud during the general parliamentary elections.

Headed by KDP President Masoud Barzani, the party’s leadership council met in Erbil on Sunday to discuss the elections process, its results as well as post-election developments.

Late Friday night, the IHEC announced the final results of the parliamentary elections held on May 12. The KDP came on top in the Kurdistan Region and, having won 25 seats, became the fifth largest parliamentary bloc in the country.

“The IHEC’s main office in Baghdad put pressure on the Directors in Erbil and Duhok to stand against the KDP and attempt to decrease its votes as the party does not have any representatives in the commission,” a KDP statement said.

It added that some of the IHEC’s commissioners were not neutral and were instead representing the political parties whom they were affiliated to.

The KDP also accused the IHEC of preventing the Kurdish party from winning the elections in Nineveh Province, stating that many ballot boxes for displaced Ezidis from Shingal who reside at camps in the Duhok governorate were intentionally not counted, in turn preventing the candidates from gaining enough votes.

Intense efforts were made to prevent the KDP from becoming the leading list in Nineveh although it was the winning list in the province, the statement said.

The KDP called on the IHEC to review its work and prevent the loss of a large number of votes, adding that “it has been proven that the IHEC was not successful in its duties and could not prevent fraud.”

Regarding the formation of the new Iraqi government, the KDP said it would send a high-level delegation to Baghdad and meet with the Iraqi parties to discuss the future political process in the country.

“KDP MPs will best represent the interests of Kurdistan and hold dialogue with the parties participating in the Iraqi political process on the principle of partnership, consensus, and balance,” the statement noted.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany