Kurdish Referendum may see Iraqi Elections Postponed

They refused to consider a proposal submitted by Ali and around 100 other MPs , suggesting that the judiciary selects judges to manage the country’s elections instead, to truly ensure independence, he adds.

One official from IHEC, speaking to NIQASH anonymously because he was not authorized to comment on the matter, said that these things needed to be organised quickly. If they did not happen at least six months before the elections, it would be problematic and potentially cause elections to be delayed yet again.

“Updating the electoral rolls, purchasing materials required for administration and preparing ballot papers – all these things are impacted by electoral laws,” he said. “If these political conflicts go on, the elections will be endangered.”

Right now it doesn’t feel as though time is on the MPs’ side. There are only six months left to go before the end of the current parliament’s term. Besides the electoral laws, there are also the batch of laws that have been on the backburner for, literally years and which have contributed to the current state of complex relations between Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan. This includes amendments to the Iraqi Constitution as well Article 140 of the Constitution, which deals with disputed territories like Kirkuk, and the formation of the long-discussed Federation Council, which is supposed to act in a similar way to the US Senate, the German Bundesrat or the House of Lords in the UK.

Given the current dispute about the Iraqi Kurdish referendum, it seems highly unlikely that these even-more-contentious issues are going to get their day in parliament. Which is why there are already rumours in Baghdad that the current term of the government and parliament will be extended for two years and general and provincial elections will be postponed once again.

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