Iraq`s Kurds threaten to boycott elections
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Last Updated: Tuesday, November 17, 2009, 23:45
Sulaimaniyah (Iraq): Kurdish political leaders threatened on Tuesday to boycott January's national elections unless Kurdish areas receive more seats in parliament, throwing into doubt the vote which could determine how quickly US troops can go home.

Just a week ago, legislators were celebrating the passage of a key election law needed to carry out the national polls. But the new Kurdish demands coupled with a veto threat earlier in the week by the country's Sunni vice president could derail the vote.

The Kurds had originally voted in favour of the law last week when it passed parliament, but they say it was only over the weekend that they found out their provinces were allocated less of parliament's 323 seats than expected.

The office of Kurdistan Regional President Massoud Barzani said the way seats are distributed after the election law's passage is unfair to Kurds.

"Unless this seat allocation formula is reconsidered in a just manner, the people of (the) Kurdistan Region will be compelled to boycott the election," a statement posted on Barzani's Web site said.

The statement also said the current division of seats is "an attempt to reduce the number of Kurdistan Region representatives in the next Iraqi parliament and diminish their achievements."

Three northern provinces make up the Kurdish autonomous region, and are represented by their own parliament as well as president.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, November 17, 2009, 23:45

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