PYD General Polls in Rojava with No Rivals "Illegitimate": Official

The party intends to fill the ballots with vote of settled Arabs, he says

ERBIL— The Kurdish Federal System of Northern Syria (Rojava) has announced plans for running general and municipality polls in Rojava but only the Democratic Union Party (PYD) runs for the polls, a vote which an opposition leader describes as "illegitimate."

As the ruling PYD on March 17, 2016 declared the establishment of the Federal System, it also adopted the term "Northern Syria" instead of Rojava (Eastern Kurdistan located in Syrian borders).

The Federal System in Northern Syria recently issued a statement announcing the dates for running the polls.

New municipality councils and new local administrations are to be elected on September 22, 2017 and December 3, 2017, respectively. The third election is to take place on January 19, 2018 for the regions and the congress of democratic nations in Northern Syria.

The Kurdish National Council of Syria (ENKS) will not run for the elections in Rojava because it is an "illegitimate" process, said Nuri Brimo, a member of the central committee of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP)- Syria (a rank in opposition ENKS umbrella.)

He said the PYD will hold the elections only in Rojava and thus some 400,000 Syrian Kurdish refugees in Turkey, 300,000 more in the Kurdistan Region and hundreds of thousands more in European and western countries will be deprived of exercising their right.

"Instead of them the settled Arabs will vote in the elections," Brimo stated, adding only the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) affiliates in Rojava have been allowed to stand for the polls.

According to Brimo, the PYD issued a "rushed decision."

"These elections will lack legitimacy and are only an organized scenario by the PKK out of its jealousy for the Kurdistan Region's strides towards independence."

Kurdistan's independence referendum is to run on September 25 this year.

"When they [the PYD] became certain that the Kurdistan Region will run the referendum on independence , they also dismantled their cantons which even their ally [Syrian president] Bashar al-Assad did not recognize," Brimo stated.

Dr. Ali Salih, a political observer of Rojava, told BasNews the entire parties in Rojava should reach a consensus over the format of running the polls and the elections law prior to holding any vote.

"If a single party sets the law and stands for the elections with no rival, the vote will not be democratic and will have no value politically and internationally," he said.  

Since it's a local vote and the opposition parties have boycotted it, the UN is not expected to supervise the voting process in Rojava, said Sherzad Zakaria, a university instructor.  

He warned the PYD will make a "strategic mistake" if it continues to run the elections unilaterally.