Yesterday members of the police, Peshmerga, and various security forces took to the streets of Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan in protest. Their votes were annulled for the recent Iraqi parliamentary election. Minister of Parliament and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Arez Abdulla attended the protest saying the “collective punishment” was an unjust action on the government’s part. He said that the members of parliament who sponsored the bill to annul the votes are “short-sighted” and will not succeed in their corrupt goals. One Peshmerga attending the protest told reporters that,

As Peshmerga forces, we are expressing our anger at those sides wanting to shatter the prestige of the Peshmerga and wanting to annul the special votes in order to compensate for the loss they suffered in the election.”

The bill passed by Iraqi parliament demands a manual recount of all votes from polling booths across the country. The votes made by security forces in Kurdistan were thrown out as well. The Coalition for Democracy and Justice (CDJ), Kurdistan Communist Party, the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), the Change Movement (Gorran), the Kurdistan Islamic League (Komal), and the Kurdistan Islamic Movement (IMK) political groups praised the decision. In a collective statement they said,

We declare our support for the important and historic step taken by the Iraqi parliament to respond to voters and political parties over electronic fraud and hooliganism targeting peoples’ votes, and tampering with the result of the election held on May 12 in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.”