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ʿAmudah: Results of local elections are announced

KURDWATCH, March 26, 2015—On March 16, 2015, the Supreme Election Commission announced voter turnout for the local elections held on March 13, 2015 at a press conference in ʿAmudah. The Supreme Election Commission is governed by the transitional administration for the canton of Jazirah, which was appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD). More than one hundred thousand eligible voters reportedly cast a ballot, turnout was given at fifty per cent. The names of the successful candidates were read aloud. KurdWatch has not been able to find out whether the election results will be made public.
In the absence of independent election observers, even the voter turnout figures cannot be verified. Election workers and election observers were employees of the PYD-appointed transitional administration. According to information from the Supreme Election Commission, national and international election observers also participated in counting the votes. However, all that is known is that sixteen election observers from the Kurdish regions of Turkey took part. Moreover, there is no reliable information about current population numbers for al‑Hasakah province. Prior to the beginning of the civil war, the population was estimated at 1.4 million residents. Since then at least two hundred fifty thousand Kurds have left the province for Turkey, Iraqi-Kurdistan, and Europe. These people had no opportunity to take part in the elections. The elections also had other serious shortcomings. Armed fighters were present in some polling places; the PYD flag was hung in others. Illiterate people who wanted to participate in the elections were not allowed to bring their own assistant into the voting booth. Instead they were assigned an election worker. On the day of the election, several candidates were still campaigning in front of the polling places.
According to a new decree by the Supreme Election Commission, it is possible to file an objection against the way in which the elections were carried out. In order to do so, however, a deposit of one hundred thousand Syrian lira (approximately four hundred fifty euro) is required. If the Court of Cassation rejects the objection, the complainant does not receive his money back. Obviously this regulation is intended to prevent people from filing objections. Yet as the PYD has established its own jurisdiction, even the Courts of Cassation do not represent an independent decision-making body.


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