Rojava goes to the polls

ANF – EFRÎN 17.01.2014 – Voters in the canton of Efrin – one of the three, newly formed cantons in Rojava – have gone to the polls to elect representatives for the newly formed Assembly of Democratic Autonomy. The election in Efrin follows elections in districts of Şiyê, Cindirês, and Şêrawa – all within the Efrin canton – and marks an important step in the development of the project of Democratic Autonomy.

In line with the decision taken by the Legislative Assembly of Autonomous Government of Western Kurdistan in its meeting between January 6 and 7th, each canton will form its own Autonomous Governing Council.  The Legislative Assembly accepted the “Social Contract” as the basis of its constitution and officially divided the region into three cantons – Kobani, Efrin and Jazira. This model of government is based on four pillars: the canton system, the Legislative Assembly, the Government, and the Justice and High Election Commission. As per the decision of the Legislative Assembly elections must be held in each of the cantons within four months in order to determine the membership of the Assembly of the Democratic Autonomous Government. Jazira will host this 101 person-assembly. Every canton will have 20 ministries.

Within this framework many public meetings are taking place. Yesterday public meetings with high attendance took place throughout the canton of Efrin. At one meeting in which hundreds of delegates were attending Arşem Kurdman, a member of the Yekitiya Star Coordinating Committee, addressed those present. Kurdman, speaking of how the peoples of Western Kurdistan were now deicing their own fate and establishing their own government, told those gathered that “the operation of the Council of Democratic Autonomy based on pluralism and democratic participation reveals the strength of the Kurdish people.” When Kurdman finished speaking the delegates voted. In the center of Efrin 16 people, including 6 women, were chosen as representatives for the  among 27 candidates.

Efrin and the neighboring districts that compose the Efrin canton will send a total of 32 representatives to the  Assembly of Democratic Autonomy. Elections were already held in the districts of Şêrawa and Şiye on January 14th and many people took part in the public meetings hosted in each of the regions local councils. In Şêrawa 5 representatives, 2 of them women, were chosen from among 10 candidates. In Siyê four representatives, 2 of them women, were chosen from among 12 candidates. Cindirêsê held its elections earlier and chose 7 representatives. After the election to be held in Şêra the election process in the canton of Efrin will be complete.

Separately a meeting took place in Qamişlo, widely considered the capital of Western Kurdistan, on the subject of Democratic Autonomy. After the meeting organized by the Committee on Diplomatic Relations, Lukman Ebdullah -a member of the Legislative Assembly – made a statement on the progress of the project of Democratic Autonomy. Ebdullah emphasized that all the peoples of the region would find representation with the 20 ministries, and that they woud be staffed by individuals of experienced approved by the Legislative Assembly.