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The Provincial Law Cannot Be Amended Through Cosmetic Changes
16 / 7 / 2019

The Provincial Law Cannot Be Amended Through Cosmetic Changes

Memorandum

From / Kurdish Institute for Elections (KIE)

To / The Presidency of Kurdistan Parliament

The Provincial Law Cannot Be Amended Through Cosmetic Changes

The Kurdistan Parliament, in an ordinary meeting [Meeting #10] of the Fifth Cabinet on July 6th 2019, agreed to amend of the Provincial Law #3 of the Kurdistan Government in 2009. The amendment suggests to:

 Lengthen the period of work of Provincial Committees.

 Permit the election of the Governor from outside the committees.

 As Kurdish Institute for Elections (KIE) our opinions on these amendments are as follows:

 * The goal of issuing a Provincial Law is to solidify the principle of decentralization, by electing representatives into local governorates. However, this amendment takes away the citizens’ right to elect the governor, and this is killing the soul of decentralization

*  In order to achieve lasting decentralization, its effects need to be present in a wide array of laws. Only changing the Governorate Law, as the current amendment suggests, will bring only hasty and cosmetic changes.

-   * Although the amendment suggests to lengthen the period of working of the Provincial Council, the principles of law and democracy asks that the election of the third round of the members of the Provincial Committees of Kurdistan must take place.

-   * Election of the Governor from outside the Provincial Council, opens the door to candidates that are desired by the political offices of parties. These candidates have proved to not receive direct votes from the citizens.

 Suggestions:

 Kurdish Institute for Elections (KIE) for more than 5 years, has been working on the issue of decentralization. It  has written a number of amendment proposals, policy papers, qualitative and quantitative survey research on the issue. Based on these experiences, KIE recommends the following:

 1. In the proposed amendment, the Governor should be elected by the direct vote of citizens.

2. The amendment to the Provincial Law should instill a bottom-up approach, seeking to further establish the principle of decentralization,

 3. There should be coordination between civil society and the Commission of the Presidency of Fifth Kurdistan Parliament in order to enrichen the legal framework of in KRG.

4. Election Day, with the consultation of the Independent High Elections Commission, Kurdistan Regional Government should make public the polls of Provincial Council Elections.


 Kurdish Institute for Elections/ KIE

July 6, 2019

Iraq - Kurdistan Region

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Read the memorandum here

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