Iraqi Judicial Board of Elections reinstates five minority quota seats to Kurdistan Parliament

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — The Iraqi Judicial Board of Elections has mandated the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) to allocate five quota seats for minority groups in the Kurdistan Parliament.

As per the board’s ruling, out of the 100 seats designated by the Federal Court for the Kurdistan Parliament, five seats should be allocated for minority groups.

The board operates under the authority of the Supreme Judicial Council, and all of its decisions are legally binding for the IHEC.

The allocation of the five seats has been divided among three of the four constituencies in the Region: two for Erbil, two for Sulaimani, and one for Duhok.

The ruling, which was issued on Monday and published on Tuesday, was based on a complaint lodged by the leader of a political minority party.

The allocation of minority quota seats in the Kurdistan Parliament sparked controversy among the political parties of the Kurdistan Region for years, particularly between the two ruling parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

The PUK previously claimed that the 11 quota seats do not adequately represent minority groups and primarily serve the interests of the KDP.

Following a PUK complaint in February, the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court deemed the 11 minority seats as “unconstitutional,” resulting in a reduction of parliamentary seats to 100.

The decision of the Federal Courts was not favored by the KDP, prompting the leading party to boycott the parliamentary elections, which have been postponed multiple times.

Kurdistan Region’s Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, who also serves as the second deputy of the KDP, has lodged a complaint with the Federal Court to reinstate the quota seats in the parliament.

After receiving the complaint, the Court suspended the IHEC’s preparations for the parliamentary elections scheduled for June 10th until a decision is made regarding Prime Minister Barzani’s complaint.

The Court is scheduled to convene on Tuesday to adjudicate Prime Minister Masrour Barzani’s complaint.

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