Unofficial results: KDP leads early voting in Kurdistan election

Unofficial results: KDP leads early voting in Kurdistan election

Sep 29 2018

ARK News: Unofficial results show that the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has gained about half of the tally in early voting that took place on Friday, two days before the Kurdistan Region’s parliamentary election.
In order to be freed up to provide security for Sunday's election, 99 polling centers were opened to the Asayish (Security), Peshmerga, and police in all four provinces in the region. 156,339 out of a potential 170,000 security force members cast ballots, according to the Independent High Electoral and Referendum Commission (IHERC).

Some sources said that, based on preliminary results not yet announced, the KDP has gained 79,764 votes and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) secured 56,887 votes. According to the sources, the Gorran (Change) movement took third place with 10,543 votes and the other parties combined have received roughly 16,000 votes.

After polling closed on Friday night, IHERC officials announced that the process of counting and sorting ballots began shortly after voting closed and reported high turnout, with Erbil Province seeing 92.78 percent of eligible voters turning up, Sulaimani with 89 percent, 93.6 percent in Duhok, and 93 percent in Halabja.

The process appears to have gone much more smoothly than during the May 12 national elections, marred by malfunctioning electronic vote-counting devices which added to the strength of a chorus of political parties charging various forms of voter fraud throughout Iraq, including the Kurdistan Region. To alleviate such complications, IHERC announced early in its preparations that it would forego the use of the machines and count all ballots manually.

A new regulation also stipulates that the commission is charged with taking close-up photographs of each voter and that, in the event that formal complaints of irregularities or fraud are brought, investigations will be opened to scrutinize each claim.

On Sunday, 773 candidates from 29 political parties will compete for a seat in the 111-seat parliament in the semi-autonomous region, vying for votes at 5,941 local voting centers.

From the total 3,085,461 registered, 39 percent are from Sulaimani Province, 36 percent from Erbil, 23 percent from Duhok, and another two percent from the recently established Halabja Province.

Though the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region technically falls under the federal jurisdiction of the Iraqi parliament in Baghdad to which it sends provincial representatives, it has its own parliament in the region's capital of Erbil as well.

Source: Kurdistan24