High Elections Commission in Iraq determines number of seats of ethnic components

BAGHDAD — The Independent High Electoral Commission in Iraq announced the number of seats for minority ethnic and religious components. According to the announcement, the number of seats for the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people has increased the new distribution.

Commission spokesperson Jumana al-Ghalai stated that Christians, Sabeans-Mandaeans, and Faili Kurds will have three seats each in Baghdad Governorate, while Christians, Yezidis, and Shabaks will have three seats each in Nineveh Governorate.

In addition, Chaldeans–Syriacs–Assyrians will get one seat in Basra Governorate and one seat in Kerkeslokh (Kirkuk).

The Commission stated that the number of voters entitled to participate in the local elections reached 16 million voters, distributed among more than 7,000 polling stations.

Despite the increase in the overall number of quota seats for the predominantly Christian Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian people in Iraq increasing by on seat, observers believe that no changes have occurred in the previous elections law.

Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian political parties have been critical of the way elections for minority seats are currently conducted. Members outside the minority group are allowed to vote for candidates running for minority quota seats. In Nineveh, the structure of the law has allowed representatives tied to Shia groups to win seats despite having little support amongst the representative minority group.

A positive note for the upcoming election is the participation of the Athra Alliance as a unified electoral bloc. The Athra Alliance is comprised of five Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian political parties in Iraq — Bethnahrin Patriotic Union (Huyodo Bethnahrin Athroyo, HBA), the Assyrian Patriotic Party, Abnaa al-Nahrain, the Assyrian Democratic Movement (Zowaa), and the Chaldean–Syriac–Assyrian Popular Council.