‘Reducing quota seats for ethnic and religious minorities violates their rights and principles of coexistence’: Kurdistan Parliament Secretary
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Parliament Secretary Muna Qahwachi rejects the attempts of some political parties to reduce the number of parliamentary quota seats allocated for ethnic and religious minorities, calling such efforts a violation of their rights.
“The quota seats of the ethnic and religious minorities in Kurdistan Parliament were set to protect their rights and ensure a fair representation in parliament,” Qahwachi stated on Monday. “Unfortunately, some political parties are now trying to set our democracy back by threatening to reduce these quota seats.”
She said the Kurdistan Region’s minorities reject any attempt by the political parties to reduce their quota seats. She also considers these efforts a violation of the rights of these minorities and the basic principle of peaceful coexistence in the Kurdistan Region.
“No political party has the right to decide about the future of the components or their political direction for their own personal or party interest,” she warned. “These actions are illegal and completely rejected by the components.”
The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Movement for Change (Gorran), Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), Kurdistan Justice Gathering (KJG), and the New Generation Movement (NGM) have long opposed giving quota seats to minority groups in the Kurdistan Parliament.
These parties accuse the ethnic components of being supportive of the KDP. The minority groups insist they have their own independent political vision and goals and are not controlled by the KDP. Still, they strongly believe the KDP is the only protector of their ethnic, cultural, and religious rights. Minority leaders, including Qahwachi, have repeatedly stated they can’t trust any political party in the Kurdistan Region aside from the KDP.
The Kurdistan Parliament has 111 members elected by popular vote every four years. Eleven MPs represent Christian, Turkmen, and Armenian political parties, who are guaranteed seats to ensure the participation of all the Kurdistan Region’s ethnic and religious components in the political process.