On Saturday, a top official in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced that the Iraqi Kurdistan presidential elections would be held in August. Elections for KRG’s president occur every four years, however, the most recent election has been delayed by two years — a result of underlying conflict in the region.
Top KRG Official Announces Elections
Over the weekend, the chief of staff of the KRG’s presidency, Fuad Hussein, announced that the presidential elections would be held on August 20th, 2015. Mr. Hussein also said that government agencies should begin preparing for the elections.
“[President] Barzani demands that all political parties should do their part in acting in a fair and democratic way in order to hold democratic elections,” Fuad Hussein’s statement said.
The KRG’s current president is Masoud Barzani, who won elections in 2005 and 2009. The KRG constitution states that the presidency is limited to a maximum of two terms — and it is unlikely that Masoud Barzani will seek re-election this summer.
Controversial Time for Iraqi Kurdistan Presidential Elections
In 2013, the KRG Parliament gave President Barzani a two-year extension — a move that was attributed to regional instability. Some opposition parties claimed that this was a controversial extension – many of the same regional instabilities are present today.
Some also claim that this is a bad time for elections because the Islamic State is less than 100 miles from the borders of Iraqi Kurdistan, and the Kurdistan Regional Government is amidst negotiations with the Iraqi government and other governments for foreign oil sales and additional trade.[Read more at Rudaw]