Kurdistan Region minorities intensify efforts to restore quota seats

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — Religious and ethnic minorities in the Kurdistan Region are ramping up their efforts to reclaim 11 quota seats reserved for them in the Kurdistan Parliament. Filing a lawsuit through the newly-formed Christian Alliance, they aim to challenge the Iraqi Federal Court’s ruling in February, which abolished the quota system.

After the Kurdistan Region’s Prime Minister Masrour Barzani filed a lawsuit earlier this month, the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court ordered a halt to all preparations and procedures by the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) regarding the Kurdistan parliamentary elections.

Similarly, the recently established Christian Alliance urged the Federal Court to restore the 11 minority seats that had been previously deemed “unconstitutional” by the court.

The Kurdistan parliamentary elections have been postponed for nearly two years due to ongoing political disagreements, primarily between the two dominant parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

The election, slated for June 10th, is unlikely to proceed as scheduled, particularly in light of the recent Federal Court ruling to suspend the activities of the IHEC following a complaint from Prime Minister Masrour Barzani who also serves as the second vice president of the KDP.

The PUK remains steadfast in its refusal to accept any additional delays to the election. During a recent meeting in Washington with Brett McGurk, the White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, PUK President Bafel Talabani warned against further postponements of parliamentary elections, asserting it could jeopardize the Region’s entity.

Previously, Lahur Sheikh Jangi, the founder of the recently established Barai Gal party, cautioned that the two ruling parties had secretly brokered an agreement to delay the elections. He expressed apprehension that the elections might not occur as scheduled.

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