High-level committee to scrutinize voter registers in disputed Kirkuk

Kirkuk- Kirkuk’s historic citadel, 2019 Photo: KirkukNow

Goran Baban-Kirkuk

The Iraqi government has assigned a high-level committee to scrutinize voter registers in the disputed multi-ethnic province of Kirkuk within a deadline of 60 days.

 The decision came after Kurdish representatives in the Iraqi parliament and some official institutions in the Kurdistan region appealed recent amendments in the provincial elections law to the supreme federal court of appeals.

Abdul-Basit Darwesh, media director of the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission’s Kirkuk office, speaking to KirkukNow said the committee was formed by the Iraqi Council of Ministers and soon after arriving in Kirkuk “it will start checking voter registers within a period 60 days before submitting a report to the council.”

The committee includes representatives of the electoral commission, the Kirkuk directorate of personal status and nationality, the ministry of health, the ministry of planning and the ministry of trade.

Darwesh indicated that it is unclear when the committee will arrive and what mechanism will be adopted to scrutinize the registers.

The Iraqi parliament on Monday July 22 approved the first amendment to the Provincial Election Law by a majority of the 217 members present.

The elections, planned for April 2020, would be also held in the disputed province of Kirkuk after a cleaning up of the voter register is carried out according to certain procedures.

The last provincial elections were held in Iraq, except Kirkuk, in 2013.  The multi-ethnic groups of Kirkuk have been in disarray over the need to clean up electoral registers and normalizing the situation there prior to the elections.

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