In an open letter addressed to the Iraqi Parliament, the Chaldean-Assyrian Syriac community said that their constituency has been exploited as election tools by various groups. The letter also expresses the community's concern over the current electoral quota for the Kurdish parliament ahead of the Kurdistan elections.
The Chaldean-Assyrian Syriac community released an open letter to the Iraqi Parliament on Monday (July 30), saying that they have been “exploited” as an election tool by the ruling Kurdish political parties.
The community expressed concern that the current electoral quota law in the Kurdistan Parliament will contribute to the erosion of their right to elect “real and legitimate” representatives.
“The Chaldean-Assyrian Syriac constituency was critically exploited in previous…elections held in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq and our rights were violated by the ruling blocs, especially by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Shia’s Fatih parliamentary factions,” the statement read.
Christians will have their reserved seats in the Kurdistan Parliament cut to five under the current electoral quota law, the group’s statement continued.
The Chaldean-Assyrian Syriac community put most of the blame on the KDP and the Change Movement (Gorran) for their role in the “acquisition of Christian seats.”
They want to guarantee that the voting for Christian candidates is exclusively limited to the Chaldean-Assyrian voters, a move it claimed to have been rejected by the KDP.
“Sadly, the Kurdistan Democratic Party responded negatively towards that demand and prevented the adoption of such a proposal in parliament.”
Farhad Hassan Abdullah, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Sulaimania, told NRT that the issue has concerned minority groups in past election cycles as well.
“I think the demands of minorities at this time has to do with the candidates who were nominated for the reserved seats, but are not considered by their communities to be true representatives. In the past, the appointees have been influenced by the dominant parties.”
“So, they are asking for a real quota system, in a way that would not be subject to interference from the main political parties.”
Christians held a rally in Erbil on Monday (July 30) against attempts to reduce the number of seats reserved for minorities in the Kurdistan Parliament ahead of the September election.