In case they break the rules, parties establish fund with election commission


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SULAIMANI - The Kurdistan Region’s Independent High Elections and Referendum Commission (IHERC) said on Monday (September 17) that it has been given money up front by several Kurdish political parties in case they are fined for rule violations.

If the parties are found to have broken the rules, the fines are directly deducted from the fund, the head of the commission office in Erbil, Aram Najamdin, told NRT.

He also denied reports that there had been changes in commission staff saying “we are not capable of changing the position of a manager or even an ordinary employee.”

The commission is set to begin training the heads of polling stations on Tuesday (September 18) and will then train the other station employees next week, said Najmadin.

The commission said last week that it had fined eight political entities and a number of candidates for violating election rules.

Speaking to NRT's Tawtwe program on Thursday (September 13), spokesman of the Independent High Elections and Referendum Commission (IHERC) Shirwan Zrar said that the commission would hold entities and candidates accountable for not abiding by their instructions.

“Some of those who have been fined started campaigning before the [official start time]” at 12 a.m. on Tuesday, Zrar added.

The parliamentary election campaign kicked off early on September 11 across the Kurdistan Region.

The IHERC said on September 12 that it had levied penalties against six entities and a candidate for violations on the first day of campaigning in the Kurdistan Region.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) lists were among those fined. They were each fined 3 million Iraqi dinars ($2,400).

Campaigning will last until September 28 at 8 a.m., two days before the election.

As many as 773 candidates are on the ballot, including 241 women, from 29 entities. Candidates are competing to win one of 111 seats.