Iraqi Kurdistan Barzani's Election Gambit: Seeking Iranian Support Amidst Kurdish Factional Opposition

Barzani faces opposition from Kurdish factions over attempts to postpone Kurdistan parliamentary elections, highlighting growing political tensions in the region.

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Iraqi Kurdistan Barzani's Election Gambit: Seeking Iranian Support Amidst Kurdish Factional Opposition

Kurdish Factions Oppose Barzani's Attempt to Postpone Kurdistan Elections

Masoud Barzani, the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), is facing strong opposition from four Kurdish factions in the Iraqi parliament over his attempts to postpone the Kurdistan parliamentary elections scheduled for June 10, 2023. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the Kurdistan Islamic Union, the Kurdistan Justice Group, and the New Generation party have united against Barzani's move, stating that delaying the elections would violate the law, the constitution, and democracy.

The PUK has officially submitted its candidates to the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) and declared its full readiness for the elections. The Kurdish factions insist on respecting the decrees of Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani, who has signed four decrees to convene the sixth session of the Kurdistan parliamentary elections on the scheduled date.

Masoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), engaged in discussions with two prominent Iranian officials concerning matters pertaining to Iraq, the Kurdistan Region, and relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. These meetings were pivotal, particularly as they addressed the Kurdistan Regional Government's decision to postpone parliamentary elections. Among the Iranian delegates was Hassan Danaeifar, a former ambassador to Iraq who now serves as a senior adviser to the head of the Quds Force on Iraqi affairs, alongside Abdolreza Mesgarian, the head of the Ramadan headquarters within the Quds Force, responsible for managing Iraqi affairs comprehensively.

During these discussions, Barzani appealed to the Iranian representatives to exert influence to postpone the Kurdistan parliamentary elections by several months, emphasizing the need to address existing challenges. However, the Iranian delegation staunchly opposed Barzani's request, refusing to acquiesce to any delays in the electoral process. Despite additional consultations with various political entities within the Kurdistan Region, including the Kurdistan Patriotic Union (PUK) and other parties, the Iranian efforts to postpone the elections ultimately proved unsuccessful, as reported by Bwar News.

In a collective statement, the opposing factions expressed their strong disapproval of any efforts to push back the elections, highlighting that the Kurdistan parliamentary elections have already been postponed three times at the request of a specific faction. The statement also explicitly denounced the abuse of security and military power by any political party to distort reality, go against the law, or challenge established decisions.

The factions called upon the federal authorities within the Council of Representatives, the Council of Ministers, the Federal Court, and the IHEC to resist such maneuvers and ensure the scheduled holding of the Kurdistan parliamentary elections on June 10, 2023.

Why this matters: The opposition to Barzani's attempt to postpone the elections highlights the growing political tensions and power struggles within the Kurdistan Region. The outcome of this dispute could have significant implications for the future stability and democratic process in the region.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani emphasized the need for fairness and equality in implementing the electoral process, calling for the elections to be held in a climate of political consensus. However, Iraq's Federal Supreme Court has ruled against extending the term of the Kurdistan region's parliament, declaring the Kurdish legislature terminated and ordering the IHEC to supervise fresh general elections in the region, despite pressure from Barzani to postpone the polls.

Key Takeaways

  • Barzani faces opposition from 4 Kurdish factions over postponing Kurdistan elections.
  • Opposing factions insist on respecting Kurdistan president's decrees to hold elections.
  • Factions call on federal authorities to ensure scheduled elections on June 10, 2023.
  • Iraqi PM emphasizes need for fairness and political consensus in electoral process.
  • Iraq's Supreme Court ruled against extending Kurdistan parliament's term, ordering fresh elections.