Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:2PM GMT
Disabled people in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region have threatened to boycott the regional elections due in September. They say that their disability benefits are below basic living standards and that the regional government has failed to meet their demands. But some lawmakers are adamant that the authorities are working to help disabled people.
Disabled people in Iraqi Kurdistan say they’re tired of the regional government’s empty promises. Disabled citizens have now threatened to boycott Kurdistan’s upcoming elections. Social security benefits for disabled people without a government job have been described as “charity”.
The minimum rent for a house in Arbil is around two hundred and fifty dollars per month – almost double the amount a disabled person receives there. Press TV reported a hunger strike by six disabled people last December. They ended their protest after reaching an agreement with the government.
Kurdistan’s Lvin magazine reported in 2010 that regional President Masoud Barzani had a yearly salary of $4.8m. America’s president earns $400,000. The benefits for a disabled person without a government job look like a fraction of 0.03 percentage of President Barzani’s alleged income.
Controversy surrounds Kurdistan’s September elections. Opposition MPs fear that President Barzani will use legal loopholes to secure a third term.
Kurdistan’s disabled citizens and their families say they total over 700,000 people and an election boycott would have a serious impact on the results. Kurdistan’s parliament previously increased the value of disability benefits, but not to the level disabled people wanted- See more at: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/06/12/308634/the-disabled-threaten-to-boycott-iraqi-kurdistan-regional-votes/#sthash.gveXgKBS.tVAJkqNv.dpuf