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1992 parliamentary Elections in Iraqi Kurdistan
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by Badran Ahmed
Member of the Supervising Committee of 1992 elections

The 1992 parliamentary elections in Iraqi Kurdistan is considered to be one of
the most important developments in the Kurdish history. Regardless of the
logistics and other organisational problems  the elections were considered, by
the Kurds and international observers, as been successful and fair.  Seven
electoral lists contested the (100) parliamentary seats  and 967, 229 votes
were cast.

The result of the elections  was as follows :

KDP List  received 437, 879 votes representing % 45, 271 of the total votes
cast. The combined PUK , Toilers Party and Struggle Party list  received 423,
833 votes representing % 43.810 of the total votes. There were another Five
electoral lists contested the elections representing : Iraqi Communist Party,
Unity Party,  Kurdistan Islamic Party,  Kurdistan Popular Democratic Party and
independents. None of these lists could achieve the necessary 7% threshold to
be represented in the parliament, their combined votes  were representing 11%
of the total votes.


According to the Election laws in the region the votes of the unsuccessful
lists were re-allocated to the two remaining lists in  accordance with the
percentage of the votes they achieved, thus the amended election results were:

KDP List:                     491, 497  votes  representing 51% of the total votes
PUK & allies list :      475, 731 votes  representing 49% of the total votes

These figures were published in official  documents produced by the Higher
Supervisory Committee for Elections (HSCE) bearing the signatures of the head
of the HSCE and all its members ( Nine signatures in all ) with the exception
of  the PUK representative .

As  the member of the HSCE I was privileged to be aware of all details of the
elections and I had excess to all documents related to that historic
experiment . I find my self duty bound to refute  all who seek to distort the
facts about the election.

From the onset  PUK tried to meddle the facts of the elections, the  latest
of these attempts is an article by (Karwan Aziz) attempting to reply on behalf
of the PUK  to remarks made by Mr. Sami Abdul Rahman (KDP’s Head of the
Politburo) in an interview with Reuters News Agency  quoted him saying “the
KDP won the 1992 elections”.

In his so called essay, published on the PUK’s Internet Web site, Mr. Aziz,
fails miserably to provide one single evident to support his allegations. From
the start, as soon as it became clear that  the PUK came second in the
elections, the PUK leadership showed its total resentment to the results . The
day after the elections, the PUK forces were preparing for confrontation and
war this was at a time when the entire world was watching the Kurdish people
going through a historical  important experiment. To avoid disaster and blood
shed Massoud Barzani, the President of the KDP in a meeting of the Kurdistan
Front leadership in the town of Shaqlawa held on May 22. 1998 in front of all
other parties gave up one of the KDP’s parliamentary seats to the PUK to halt
the developing crises. That's how the Fifty - Fifty  power sharing  in the
Parliament and the Regional Government came about, it was through agreement
not as PUK’s right. By giving up on seat to the PUK the KDP  was hoping to
avoid an internal conflict  which the PUK managed to  cause two years later in
1994.

Following are the number of votes and percentages  achieved by each party
approved by the HSCE which included also a PUK representative :
Name of the electoral list

 

The name of the party

Votes

%

1 Kurdistan Democratic Party KDP 437,879 45.05
2 Socialist and PASOK  (Unity) 024,882 2.57
3 Peoples Party 009,903 1.02
4 Iraqi Communist Party 021,123 2.17
5 Kurdistan Islamic Movement 049,108 5.05
6 Independents 000,501 0.05
7 Patriotic Union Of Kurdistan & Toilers Party 423,833 43.61

The Total of 105.517 votes representing the parties who failed to pass the
threshold of 7% required to enter the parliament were re allocated to the
remaining to lists of The KDP and the PUK according to their percentage of
votes they achieved. The final result  were as follows:

KDP List                                  491.498    Votes                        50.80 %
PUK and Toilers Party list        475.737  Votes                       49.20 %


Further information could be obtained from other reports published by the
foreign  observers who supervised the elections such as the report by British
Electoral Reform Society  and the report titled “ The May 19. 1992 Elections
in Iraqi Kurdistan. A Democratic Era” by Rod Hoof, Micheal Lizenbetirg and
peter Muller  representatives of NGOs. both reports were published in English
and Kurdish.

To secure victory the PUK tried very hard to manipulate the out come of the
elections by attempting to rig the votes in Sulaimania and Kirkuk regions. In
response to this the Kurdistan Front  on the day of the elections  May 19,
1992 issued two separate statements criticizing PUK for its attempts to
manipulate the outcome of the elections, the statement was signed by all
parties with the exception of the PUK. It is puzzling that today the PUK
criticizes the way the elections were conducted in those two regions! And
considers itself as been  robed of victory.

No doubt,  losing the elections made PUK suffer from a inferiority complex
which has never  managed to get rid off, small wonder the PUK  always attempts
to undermine the Parliament  and distort facts about the election results.

In May 1994 PUK forces occupied the parliament building and turned it into a
military barrack halting all parliamentary  activities for a period of time.
In January 1995 the PUK forces occupied the regional capital Erbil,  which is
the base for the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Parliament causing both
democratic institutions to stop functioning. In August 1996 the General
Secretary of the PUK publicly declared  that the term of the Parliament will
never be extended. Since the liberation of Erbil and extension given to the
term of the parliament  by parliamentary  majority vote the PUK have
considered the parliament  as void.

On of the PUK  attempts to undermine 1992  elections was the claim that the
Sulaimania and Kirkuk regions were not allocated adequate number of balloting
stations wile Duhok Governorate had many more ballot stations (!) . First: The
allocation of ballot stations for each region  was decided by the HSCE which
included the representatives of all political parties including the PUK itself
and the decisions had nothing to do with  KDP. Second:  Because of the high
turn out and lack sophisticated  arrangements  the voting were indeed going
very slowly not just in Sulaimania region but all over Kurdistan  many voters
in other areas were unable to cast their votes in spite of extending the
voting time by Four hours from 08.00 hours to midnight.

The ballot box allocations for each Governorate were as follows :
Erbil             62    Ballot boxes
Sulaimania   56     =           =
Duhok          42    =           =
Kirkuk         16     =           =

To distort  facts,  the PUK refers to the “large Number “ of ballot boxes
allocated for Duhok Governorate in comparison to other regions, but they
ignore the fact that  Duhok Governorate includes also two other regions , Akra
and Shekhan, which they belong to Mosul Governorate thus making the territory
of Duhok Governorate almost one third of that the whole Iraqi Kurdistan  even
then  the number of ballot boxes were not enough to cover the whole region, as
a result large number of voters failed to reach the ballot boxes .

Another distortion of facts is the claim by the PUK that KDP vote in Duhok
exceeded the number of registered voters , but the facts again contradicts
this claim. According to the official  statistics the total population of
Duhok (including Akra and Shekhan)  were 606, 265  and the same statistics
showed that the percentage of illegible voters ( Over 18 years ) were 37.38 %
of the population, this means that 230.380 people were illegible to vote which
is much more than the votes gained by the KDP in Duhok (198. 352 votes).

Another prove that the PUK did not win the 1992 election is that the PUK did
not contest the elections alone. Its electoral list was a joint list with two
other parties , Toilers Party  and Struggle Party ,  representative of theses
two parties  in the parliament were :

1-  Qadir azizi  General secretary of the Toilers Party
2-  Abdul Kahliq ZanGana Member of the Politburo of the Toilers Party
3-  Mala Bakhtiar (Hikmet)  Member of the  Politburo of the Toilers Party
4-  Najmaddin Aziz (Salar)  member of the Politburo of the Toilers Party
5-  Rauf Kamil General Secretary of the Struggle Party (His name was in the electoral list of the PUK but was not given a Parliamentary seat..