The Iranian Government will open polling stations for eligible citizens living in the Kurdistan Region to cast their ballot in the country’s May 19 presidential election, an official from the Iranian Embassy in Erbil said on Monday. Iranian official Mohammed Shirzad was quoted by Mehr News Agency as saying “Polling stations are already set to open in Erbil, Binaslawa and Soran for the upcoming Iran elections”. Shirzad said people eligible to vote in the Kurdistan Region will soon be informed about the whereabouts of polling stations. “Iranians who are in the region’s prisons will be able to vote due to preparations done”, he added. The campaign for the presidential race has been underway since April 28 and will continue until May 17. The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) Secretary, Mustafa Hejri told NRT on May 2 that his party, along with five other Kurdish parties, have decided to boycott the presidential election in Iran.
April 24, 2017, Marks the 43 anniversary of Qalladize attack, Kurds had gathered in Qalladize city in a remembrance ceremony for the victims of 1974 attack. The ceremony was attended by Governmental official, Kurdish Parties members, families of Anfal victims and a large number of Kurds. The Government of Kurdistan Region with the help of its Vice President Mr. Qubad Talabani had offered the best services for the city and for the victims’ families. At 9.15am on Wednesday 24 April 1974, Qalladze fell victim to Saddam Hussein first airstrike against the Kurds. Rockets and internationally forbidden cannon fires set alight the town of Qalladize, the Ba’athist government had demolished the town of Qalladze killing at least 163 innocent people as well for injuring more than 250 others including students and University teachers. Qalladze means “Castle of Two Rivers” from the Kurdish words Qala= castle, dw= two and ze= river. In the south west of the City there is a small hill between two rivers.
Two of the main Kurdish parties have released a joint statement emphasizing that holding referendum for independence is a “national” matter and therefore needs to be discussed and “finalized” in the Kurdish parliament, an institution that has been paralyzed since October 2015. The ruling KDP, which holds the posts of Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s presidency and prime ministry has so far insisted that the long-anticipated referendum does not need a mandate from the Kurdish legislature. With regard to the so-called disputed areas, otherwise defined by the Kurdish authorities as the Kurdistani areas outside the Kurdistan Region, the two sides say that they are for holding a referendum in these places, which importantly include the oil-rich province of Kirkuk, claimed both by Baghdad and Erbil. “The two sides agree on holding referendum in the Kurdistani areas outside the administration of the Kurdistan Region”. The statement added that they discussed a number of pressing issues, including power sharing between the two parties in the provinces of Sulaimani and Halabja in accordance with the agreement they signed last year, paving the way for shared governance in these two provinces. The PUK announced last Wednesday that holding an independence referendum in Kurdistan cannot be realized without reactivating the Kurdish parliament and seeking solutions for the outstanding political problems.