Iraq`s Kurds threaten to boycott elections

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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