Iraq: Quota system in the new election law disadvantages minorities

SOCIETY FOR THREATENED PEOPLES
 PRESS RELEASE Göttingen, 07.11.2008

Iraq: Quota system in the new election law disadvantages minorities
 Christian Assyrian Chaldeans and Yezidi threaten election boycott and
 annexation to federal state of Kurdistan

Arab parliamentary delegates have rejected a reasonable quota regulation
 for the minorities of Iraq and now the leading representatives of the Assyrian
 Chaldean Christians, Kurdish Yezidi and Shabak are threatening a boycott
 of the provincial elections and the annexation of their territories in the province Mosul/Niniveh to the Iraqi federal state of Kurdistan. This was reported by the Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) on Friday. In passing a new electoral law for the Iraqi provinces last Monday in Baghdad
 delegates of the Arab and Islamist-oriented parties in the Iraqi Parliament were
 prominent in voting against the recommendation of the United Nations to
 establish three seats each for the Christians and the Yezidi in the provincial council of Mosul. 106 Arab nationalist delegates out of a total of 150 representatives present rejected the proposal. Those speaking out
 in favour of the proposal were the delegates of the Kurdish Alliance, representatives of the Communists and some delegates of the Shiite Al-Sadr
 party.

The north, west and east of the north-Iraqi province of Mosul/Niniveh is
 for the most part inhabited by minorities. There are living there, above all in the Niniveh Plain, almost 200,000 of the remaining approximately 600,000
Christian Assyrian Chaldean Arameans of Iraq, about 500,000 Kurdish Yezidi
 and about 70,000 Shabak. Members of this latter group have been gathering
 since last weekend almost daily in the town of Bahshiga and are calling for the annexation of their 70 villages to Iraqi Kurdistan.