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Explaining the Risks of Closing the Semi-Open List
29 / 1 / 2018

Explaining the Risks of Closing the Semi-Open List

On January 4, 2018, the Kurdish Institute for Elections (KIE), in the presence of a number of parliamentarians, representatives of political parties, civil society activists and media groups, presented a seminar in the hall of Mamuzin Hotel, explaining the content of that memorandum entitled (Why Closing the Semi-Open List?!). This seminar was presented by Aram Jamal, director of the Kurdish Institute for Elections, and the volunteer activist student Solin Deler.

The seminar was conducted in order to alert the public opinion to this memorandum and the damage of this step of the Parliament. It highlighted that the use of any of the three electoral lists (closed, limited open, or open free) is not a technical matter, but, in essence, an issue affecting the democratic life of citizens because each one of them indicates a kind of relationship between the trio (voter - candidate - political party). For example, the closed list is said to be closed because in this type of list, the association between the voter and the candidate is closed, where the voter is forced to accept the order and sequence of names of those candidates placed by the party leadership within the list, without the voter being able to change this arrangement through the casting of his voice. And that the claiming of some people to close the limited open list in our political and partisan reality came as a result of achieving these objectives below:

1.  The leaders of the party usually place these people at the top of the list of names in their closed list who have a blind loyalty to them or to their agglomerations in the presidency of the party.

2. The closed list facilitates matters to the agglomerations in the presidency of the party by agreements among themselves on the arrangement or sequence of candidates, or to use it as a tool to weaken or rather to liquidate the influence of each other.

3. Since the internal environment of the political parties in the region is still undemocratic, and the candidates are not identified in the elections from the lower organizations, the closed list is in favor of strengthening the traditional presidential position of the parties and prolonging their life cycle in the party decision-making center.

4. In the closed list, the candidates owe the presidency of the party more than others and are not even interested in the votes of the voters. This creates a kind of indifference among the candidates towards the voter, which leads to a tepidity in the electoral campaigns and negatively affects the performance of the elected members of parliament in terms of their lack of feeling responsible towards their citizens.

One of the negative consequences of switching from the limited open list to the closed list is reducing the level of participation of the voter in the elections for several reasons. But the main reason for this is to place the party's political choice on the ballot only, without the voter، while if the list is open limited, the choices will increase to the voters according to the number of candidates in the electoral lists.

it is mentioned that This memorandum (why closing the limited open list?!) is one of the four public policy papers which prepared within partner project will be implemented by the Kurdish Institute for Elections (KIE) with the Project on Middle East for Democracy (POMED) in the form of a joint venture.



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Kurdish Institute for Elections KIE
Iraq- Sulaimany, Bakhtiaree Q.,
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