Campaigning kicked off just after midnight on Tuesday in the Kurdistan Region parliament election campaign slated for September 30. Over 700 candidates are vying for spots in the 111-seat chamber where 11 seats are reserved for Turkmen and Christian minorities and 30 percent must be filled by women. The campaign had a hesitant start, delayed by a week amid reports that some parties wanted to postpone the vote that is already taking place 11 months late. Some candidates delayed creating campaign materials, fearing the process may be put off again. European allies told Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani they are “happy” the election is going ahead as scheduled.
A group of consuls and representatives from European nations in the Kurdistan Region met with Barzani on Tuesday and “emphasized the European Union’s support for the political process, elections, and development of democratic life in the Kurdistan Region,” read a statement from the KRG.
Head of the EU Liaison Office in Erbil Clarisse Pasztory, in a tweet, said they had an “excellent” discussion on the elections and the “need for legitimate & functioning KRG institutions as our partners.”
The KRG has invited international monitors to observe the vote.