28/08/2022

Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian political parties in Kurdistan Region of Iraq demand amendment of election law

ANKAWA, Iraq — Several Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian political parties in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) issued a joint statement regarding the quota law for the region’s parliamentary elections.

The statement — signed by the Assyrian Democratic Movement, Beth Nahrain Patriotic Union, Assyrian National Party, Sons of Two Rivers Party, and the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian People’s Council — noted there had been meetings attended by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, and a number of Kurdish political parties to discuss the parliamentary elections in the region. Those meetings repeatedly occurred without an invitation to participate being sent to the parties of the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people.

The failure to include Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian political parties in such discussions contributes to their marginalization, read the statement. Their exclusion is in violation of international democratic standards, the statement added.

The parties called for amending the election law on the basis of justice and true partnership so that it expresses and preserves as much as possible the will of the people. The statement included several demands of the parties, including restricting voting for quota seats to members of the respective minorities, creating a special register of minority voters in this regard, and holding quota elections before general elections.

The statement also called for an increase in the number of quota seats in line with the natural increase of the population at home and abroad and the creation of a special ballot paper, electoral centers, and stations in electoral centers for quota voting.

Such steps, the statement concluded, would ensure that the will of minorities is not subverted by other parties and they are duly represented by candidates they themselves elect.