The minorities' rights are being deprived in Kurdistan Parliament

Reports 05:10 PM - 2023-01-12
Photo Credit: Kurdistan Parliament

Photo Credit: Kurdistan Parliament

The minority representatives in the Kurdistan Parliament are not true representatives and do not fulfill their roles, as stated by a member of the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) faction: "The minorities should elect their true representatives in the parliament because their seats have created an imbalance in the Kurdistan Region in favor of one party and their rights are also violated." 

Minorities must choose legitimate representatives

 The use of minority seats by a certain party has led to complaints in parliament and proposals for amendments to the minority law.

 "One of our issues is the exploitation of the minorities' seats, which is why all factions ask for the amendment of the provision on the minorities' seats in the electoral law," Abubakr Haladini, a member of the Kurdistan Parliament from the KIU faction, told PUKMEDIA.

 "We want the Kurdistan Region's minorities to have their own seats, but they should pick their own true representatives, and the geography of the minorities must also be taken into account, which is not the situation at the moment," he continued.
Further, he added: "We seek to restore balance in the upcoming elections by amending the electoral law," Haladini said. "Because the minority seats in the Kurdistan Parliament are currently used to favor one party,"

A single party cannot use the minorities' seats for its advantage

The minority lawmakers' positions in the Kurdistan Parliament have drawn criticism. Minorities are urged to fulfill their genuine purpose and resist being swayed by a political party. 

Hasiba Abdullah, a Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Leadership Council member and the head of the PUK's Minorities Board, told PUKMEDIA: "Due to issues with the electoral law and the geographic distribution of the minorities' seats in the Kurdistan Parliament, the PUK insists on reviewing the minorities law because their seats cannot be taken by another party to use them for its own benefit."
"The PUK wants the minorities to play their true role and convey their demands, concerns, and ideas to obtain the PUK's support." Furthermore, minority representatives must actively serve their constituents," Abdullah added.

Minorities' rights should not be violated

Minorities have the right to use the Kurdistan parliament to advocate for their legitimate needs; therefore, President Mam Jalal decided on their seats for the first and second terms of the legislature. This opportunity has been exploited by some parties.

Abdulnasir Ahmed, a member of the Kurdistan Parliament from the PUK faction, told PUKMEDIA: "As the PUK faction in the Kurdistan Parliament, we want the representatives of minorities to have their voice and color in the parliament."

He mentioned further that the minorities' representatives in the Kurdistan Parliament "are not currently the representatives of their people and cannot speak on their own behalf." President Mam Jalal has always aimed for minorities to have their own representatives in the first and second terms of the parliament, but regrettably, certain parties have taken advantage of this chance and made their cadres minorities' representatives.

In the Kurdistan Parliament, minorities are represented by 11 seats. Despite the presence of several minorities in Sulaymaniyah and its surroundings, none of the 11 seats reserved for minorities is filled by a representative from these areas.

Translated from Kurdish and edited by Hiran Halwan, Additional editing by Zareena Younis

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