The northern Iraq-based Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) expressed yesterday its intention to learn from Turkey's experience in election transparency and voter registration.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), the KRG's Supreme Election Commission spokesperson Shirwan Zirar lauded Turkey's experience in the fields.
He said they recently visited the Supreme Election Board (YSK) in the capital Ankara. "In Turkey, the state has the voters' data. They do not have to deal with updating voter lists for months, as we do," he added.
Zirar added that he wants the KRG to have an efficient voter registration system. "We want to benefit from Turkey's experience and take the YSK as a model. The KRG also needs a new election law to meet people's demands and expectations," he said.
He said the commission is drafting the election law and will soon submit it to the KRG's parliament. "We will also discuss the issue with U.N. representatives and the constitutional commission in the regional parliament," said Zirar.
Turkey has been holding elections since 1930 in a secure, democratic environment, even though the process was sometimes interrupted by military interventions, making it the oldest and most stable democracy in the region. The first multiparty local elections in Turkey were held in 1930, while the first parliamentary elections were held in 1946. The secret ballot system was later introduced to Turkish elections in 1950. Turkey is also ranked among the top countries with the highest turnout rates in elections in Europe.
In the parliamentary elections held last year, in the KRG, 45 members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), 21 members of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), 12 members of Gorran Movement, eight members of the New Generation Movement, seven members of Islamic Society Party, five members of Islaha True Coalition and two members of Azadi and Modern Lists were elected to parliament.