Iraqi federal court rejects postponement of general elections



The Iraqi federal court Sunday ruled that it is not possible for the country’s general elections to be delayed, in a bid to end debate of the political parties whether to postpone the elections.

The Supreme Federal Court issued an “interpretative decision” for Article 56 of the Iraqi constitution, indicating that the timing for electing the members of the new parliament in the said article must be respected, Ayas al-Samouk, head of the court’s media office, said in a brief statement.

The court’s decision came just hours after the Iraqi parliament submitted a request to the court to interpret the constitution’s article seeking whether it would be possible to postpone the elections as some political blocs demand, Samouk said.

On Thursday, the Iraqi parliament failed to approve the date of the general elections on May 12 amid intense debate among the political blocs.

On Wednesday, Sunni major parliamentary coalition demanded postponement of the general elections for six months to allow hundreds of thousands of Sunni displaced people to return home to cast their ballots after the liberation of their cities and towns from the Islamic State.

“The voter registration update is currently no more than 2 percent of the total eligible voters of Nineveh province and if it goes ahead (for May 12 elections), it will not reach 15 percent of total voters,” Ahmed al-Jubouri, a Sunni lawmaker for Nineveh province, told Xinhua.

Jubouri noted that the elections under such circumstances will result in weaker representation for the Arabs, 82 percent of Nineveh’s provincial population, and most of the parliamentary seats will go for other minorities.

“That will draw a new political map in the province and the majority Arabs will be the biggest victims,” Jubouri added.