Kurdistan PM: elections on time, no U.S pressure for postponement

Erbil ( Iraqi Kurdistan’s premier, Nechirvan Barzani, said Tuesday the region will hold its parliament polls as scheduled on September 30th, denying any pressures from the United States to postpone the process.

Speaking during a press conference following a cabinet meeting, and quoted by Kurdish-owned BasNews, Barzani said “it was confirmed during the meeting that elections are to be held on time, and we hope it will be a success”.

Barzani added that no party in Kurdistan Region demanded a postponement, and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (to which Barzani belongs) stressed on holding the elections as scheduled”.

Commenting on reports that the U.S. envoy to the international coalition against Islamic State, Bret McGurk, asked to call off the votes, Barzani answered “there was no such request, and we had met McGurk previously and informed him that elections would be held on time”.

The Kurdish parliament decided in October 2017 to call off the votes for eight months, after initially setting November 2017 for the polls. A few days later, former president Masud Barzani announced his resignation, having failed to enforce the results of a September vote in which a majority voted for independence from Iraq, as Iraqi forces seized territories disputed over with the autonomous region.

Last May, the parliament set September 30th of 2018 for the polls.

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