ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) announced on Monday that provincial elections will be held across the country on April 20, 2020, the second time the date has been changed this year.
They were originally set to take place on Dec. 22, 2018, but IHEC announced in January that they would be postponed until November 2019, five months before the new date just announced.
“The election has been delayed for two years now,” commission member Hazim Redini told Kurdistan 24.
Rizgar Haji-Hama, deputy commission head, told Kurdistan 24, ”IHEC requested that the Iraqi Parliament, the Council of Ministers, and the president to approve the new date for the provincial council's elections.”
“If the law amendment for the provincial election is approved before July 1, we will need 200 days to finish all preparations,” added Haji-Hama.
In a statement, Hama also said, “Today in the meeting with the Council of Representatives in parliament, we presented several recommendations for the election process, specifically in the areas where people are displaced and in the disputed territories as well.”
According to Haji-Hama, all related ministers showed initiative to coordinate all the necessary requirements with IHEC for the election, with a focus on the disputed province of Kirkuk which hasn't had a provincial election since 2005.
Several committees will be formed to cross-reference details about citizens to assess eligibility to vote, based on the local and national election statutes in Kirkuk and other disputed territories.
It is still unclear whether the voting will take place in all provinces across Iraq, especially those that are still struggling to return displaced residents and rebuild infrastructure.
The Iraqi provincial elections do not include the provinces of Erbil, Sulaimani, Duhok, and Halabja, all part of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region which holds its own local elections as determined by its own electoral commission.
Editing by John J. Catherine