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.
The elections, which had to be held originally before November, 2016, were postponed by the government, which said it requires more time to register the voters. According to an agreement concluded at the end of December, Joseph Kabila, agreed to leave the presidency after elections planned before the end of 2017. Experts considered that a second adjournment would risk to start a new wave of violent demonstrations: Last year dozens of people died after Joseph Kabila’s refusal to leave the power at the end of its second mandate (the last one according to the Constitution), on December 19th. The president of CENI (an electoral Commission), Crow Nangaa, announced on Friday that the violence in the central province of Kasaï risked to compromise the integrity of the vote. The opponents of Kabila judge that the president intends to postpone the elections up to the organization of a referendum allowing him to run for a third term, an operation used by Paul Kagame in Rwanda too. Kabila denies these charges.