ERBIL — The electoral commission has estimated that they need at least six months to prepare for the overdue elections in the Kurdistan Region, and noted that political differences should be resolved beforehand.
"We need six months to make practical arrangements for the election process this year, but political parties have to reach an agreement first," the spokesperson for the Independent High Electoral Commission in the Kurdistan Region, Sherwan Zrar, told BasNews on Saturday.
He also assessed that cross-party talks on amending the current electoral law from a single-district formula to a multiple-district system along with negotiations on updating the existing voters roll should conclude by the end of March so that election preparations can begin across the region.
After political parties reach an agreement on these issues, the Kurdistan parliament will convene to amend the existing electoral law, and then the president of the Kurdistan Region will determine a voting day. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will then allocate necessary budget for the election to proceed.
The ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) recently took the initiative to visit political parties in the Kurdistan Region to address their concerns, and break the political impasse after disagreements over the current electoral law and the status of the voters roll delayed parliamentary elections last year.
The KDP aims to continue this series of dialogue to negotiate a lasting agreement on these issues, and ensure no problem is powerful enough to stand in the way of elections and peoples' will to have their voices heard. And recent talks with key players have been positive, according to sources. However, it's not clear whether a second meeting between the KDP and rival Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) planned for today, will go ahead.