ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The voice of Ezidis from Sinjar (Shingal) will be missing in the newly elected Iraqi Parliament for the first time, Member of Parliament Vian Dakhil said on Sunday, pointing to the “unfair” procedures of the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) during last week’s polls.
On May 12, some 7,000 candidates, including Ezidis, ran for 329 seats in the parliamentary elections. According to the Iraqi law, nine seats are reserved for minority religious groups.
Out of 22 Ezidi candidates running in the polls, Saeb Khader Nayef, from the town of Bashiqa in the Nineveh Plains, east of Mosul, won one of the nine seats.
However, no candidate from Shingal—the city which witnessed a brutal massacre at the hands of the so-called Islamic State (IS) when it invaded the region in August 2014—has won a seat in Parliament.
“This is the first time the Iraqi Parliament will be absent of any Ezidi deputy from Shingal because of the IHEC’s negligence and confusion,” Dakhil, herself from Shingal, said in a statement.
“Our follow-up to the events has led us to conclude that Ezidis’ participation was better and more intense than most of Iraq because our people in Shingal are in dire need of their representatives in the federal government,” she explained.
Dakhil blamed the absence of an Ezidi representative from Shingal on the conditional voting during the May 12 polls. About 80 percent of the people from Shingal are still living in displacement camps.
According to the Ezidi MP, they voted heavily in the elections, but “their votes were lost, burned, and not counted.”
“This is the only explanation for the loss of Ezidi candidates from the Shingal people,” she said.
Dakhil, a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), charged the IHEC for “the unforeseen loss of candidates from the people of Shingal due to the so-called conditional vote.”
She called for a review of the ballot boxes for people at displacement camps, especially those from the Duhok governorate.
“We are confident that the results will change in favor of Ezidi candidates from Shingal. The loss of Ezidi candidates from Shingal is a result of the neglect and procrastination of the IHEC staff and its unfair procedures,” Dakhil stated.
Following the Iraqi elections, several parties have called on the IHEC to investigate reports of fraud, calling for a manual recount of ballots.