Kurdistan Region’s political parties react to reinstatement of minority quota seats

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region — The Iraqi Judicial Board of Elections’ recent announcement reinstating five quota seats for the Kurdistan Region’s religious and ethnic minorities in the Kurdistan parliament has stirred a spectrum of responses among the Region’s political parties.

The directive from the Judicial Board of Elections to reinstate five of the original 11 quota seats within the parliament’s 100 seats has prompted a variety of reactions from political parties, particularly those representing minority groups.

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

Aydin Marouf, the Minister for Minority Affairs in the Kurdistan Region, expressed his disapproval of the decision made by the Judicial Board, labeling it as “unfair.” He criticized the reinstatement of only five out of the original 11 quota seats previously allocated for minorities in the Kurdistan Parliament, urging the legislative body to restore all the quota seats.

During a press conference, Mona Qahwachi, Deputy Leader of the Turkmen Reform Party, described the decision made by the Judicial Board of Elections as positive but “unfair.” She called for the establishment of a single constituency for minorities in the long-awaited Kurdistan parliamentary elections.

The spokesperson for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Saadi Ahmad Pira, welcomed the decision, emphasizing the party’s compliance with the ruling and assured a commitment to ensuring full and unbiased representation for minority groups.

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.

On February 21st, a ruling from the Iraqi Federal Court caused outrage among the minority groups and political parties in the Kurdistan Region. The ruling declared the 11 reserved seats for religious and ethnic minorities in the Kurdistan Parliament as “unconstitutional” and removed these seats the Region’s legislative body.

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