Christian Alliance in Kurdistan Region files lawsuit for minority rights in elections

The New Region

May. 13, 2024 • 2 min read
Image of Christian Alliance in Kurdistan Region files lawsuit for minority rights in elections

The Christian Alliance in the Kurdistan Region seeks minority representation in the upcoming parliamentary elections amid legal battles over quota seats.

The Christian Alliance in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) filed a lawsuit on Monday, at the Federal Supreme Court for minority rights in the upcoming KRI Parliamentary elections, seeking seats under the quota system.

Ano Jawhar Abdulmaseeh Abdoka, Minister of Transport and Communications in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and General Secretary of Shalamaya Movement for Christian Affairs, posted a statement on X platform saying that the Christian Alliance in Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) has taken legal action on Monday by filing a lawsuit at the Federal Supreme Court in Baghdad regarding the rights of minority groups, including Armenian, Assyrian, Syriac, and Chaldean Christians, in the upcoming Kurdistan Region parliamentary elections.

Representatives of the allied parties within the Christian Alliance have authorized lawyer Ayad Kakayi to represent them in this matter. Kakayi filed the lawsuit today, emphasizing the demand for special seats for these minority groups under the quota system in the Kurdistan Region elections.

On February 21, the Federal Supreme Court in Baghdad issued rulings, declaring several provisions of the Kurdistan Region’s Parliament Election Law “unconstitutional.”

The court ruled that the Kurdistan Region election law, which originally allocated 111 seats with 11 reserved for minorities, violated the constitution.

As a result, the revised law now specifies 100 parliamentarians without any quota seats, which could mean that ethnic minorities might not have representation in future elections.

The Kurdistan Region was initially scheduled to hold elections in October 2022, but they were later pushed to November 2023 due to disagreements between the Region’s political parties over the electoral law.

Following a verdict by the court in May 2023 against the Regional parliament’s self-extension of its tenure by one year, the election dates were once again delayed, this time to February 2024, however delay in the court’s rulings in February led to an extra delay of the election date, this time to June 10.

A source close to the Iraqi government, who preferred to remain anonymous, told The New Region in a previous report that the Kurdistan Region’s parliamentary elections will be delayed and not held on time.

On Sunday, Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani said that "A new date for the Kurdistan Region's parliamentary elections will be announced soon". 

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