ASIA/IRAQ - Elections in Kurdistan, the Parties compete for the 5 seats reserved for Christians

Friday, 21 September 2018 middle east   oriental churches   area crisis   kurds   politics   international politics   religious minorities

Erbil (Agenzia Fides) - At least eighteen candidates will compete for the five seats reserved for Christians in the upcoming elections of the Autonomous Region of Iraqi Kurdistan, scheduled next September 30th. But the race of the major Parties to even get hold of the share of seats in Parliament reserved for Christian candidates is fueling controversy, and appeals to boycott the electoral competition is increasing among Christian voters.
Five candidates from the Rafidain list, three candidates from the Christian Democratic List, five candidates from the Council of the Chaldean and Assyrian nations and five candidates from the National Union Coalition will compete to obtain the seats reserved for Christians. But rumors have been confirmed that the major Parties, such as the Kurdistan Democratic Party, KDP and the Gorran Movement will push part of their voters to vote for candidates for seats reserved for Christians, in order to broaden their parliamentary base. In concrete, according to Rudaw, the KDP supports candidates of the Council in the Chaldean and Assyrian nations, while Gorran supports candidates of the Christian Democratic List.
Most of the candidates for seats reserved for Christians come from the governorate of Dahuk.
The Abnaolnahrain list, run by Christian political activists, have decided to boycott the elections after the plans to amend the electoral regulations had been stranded in order to guarantee the effective election of members of religious minorities in the seats reserved for them (among them there is also a seat reserved for the Armenian minority).
The seats of the Parliament of the Autonomous Region of Iraqi Kurdistan are 111.
The outgoing parliamentary assembly was dominated by the KDP of former President Mas'ud Barzani, with 38 seats, the rivals of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan occupy 18 seats. The Gorran Movement, still in opposition, occupied 24 seats in the outgoing parliament. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 21/9/2018)