Friday, July 17, 2009
Kurdistan Authorities Deny Assembly Right to Opposition Group
The Independent Elections Committee penalized the Change Slate, one of the main rivals to the two ruling parties in Kurdistan. The Slate was fined 2 million dinars (approximately $1,700) for violating campaigning rules. Meanwhile, security authorities did not permit the Change Slate to organize a demonstration that was planned from Friday in Sulaymaniyah. The Elections Committee said in a statement that Sulaymaniyah’s governor and security authorities first authorized the demonstration. However, the governor later told the Committee that a high ranking official in Kurdistan’s government that “public gatherings are not allowed on Fridays” and that security forces “would not be responsible for protecting the safety of demonstrators”.