Iraq: New Election law disadvantages minorities – Quota system called for
September 30th, 2008
SOCIETY FOR THREATENED PEOPLES
PRESS RELEASE Göttingen,
“The new election system disadvantages above all the religious communities of the Assyrian Chaldean Arameans, Yezidi, Shabak, Feili-Kurds, Mandaeans and Armenians, criticised the President of the GfbV International, Tilman Zülch, in a letter to the Iraqi President, Jalal Talabani, and the President of the autonomous federal state of Kurdistan, Masud Barzani. “To make sure that the minorities are represented fairly, quotas must be established for them where their numbers are high. It is only in this way that they can be present in all important bodies independently of the election results.”
It was only after very lively discussion that the new electoral law was passed in the Iraqi Parliament on 24th September 2008. The plan is now for elections to be carried out in 14 of the 18 Iraqi provinces by the end of January 2009. The exceptions are the three provinces of Iraqi Kurdistan (Arbil, Dohuk and Sulaymaniye) and the province of Kirkuk, whose administrative affiliation is debated between the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdish autonomous region in the north.
The provincial elections planned are seen as an important step on the road to stabilising Iraq and are to take place under the supervision of the United Nations.
Although all the larger parties have voted for the law there is still criticism to be heard., coming mainly from the Kurdish side. Dr. Kamal Kukuki, Vice-President of the Regional Parliament of Kurdistan and member of the advisory board of the GfbV Section there, holds the law to be undemocratic because it does not allow the citizens of Kirkuk for example to decide at the same time as in the other provinces who will represent them on the Provincial Council. “The new law has come about under massive pressure from the USA and the United Nations”, said a GfbV employee in Arbil.
The GfbV is calling for a quota solution for Iraqi Kurdistan as well to be introduced in the constitution – yet to be passed - of the autonomous federal state in the north of the country. In addition to this self-government must be established for those communities which differ from other Kurdish provinces in terms of ethnic background or religious affiliation.
Al Sadr supports quotas for minorities
September 30th, 2008
BAGHDAD - Anti-U.S. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr strongly supports demands by Iraqi Christians and other minorities for guaranteed seats on regional governing councils, his chief spokesman said Tuesday.
Al-Sadr, whose Mahdi Army militia battled U.S. and Iraqi forces until he declared a cease-fire last year, would also be ready to mobilize street protests to support the minorities’ cause, spokesman Salah al-Obeidi said.
Iraq’s parliament approved a new law last week that paves the way for the first provincial elections in four years, a move widely praised as a sign of progress in the U.S.-backed government’s efforts to promote national unity.
But the law removed a measure that reserved a few provincial council seats for Christians and other religious minorities - sparking outrage among the Christians and Yazidis, a small Kurdish-speaking sect, who argued they should have a voice in the mostly Muslim country.
The measure still needs to be approved by the three-member presidential panel led by Jalal Talabani, a Kurd.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, also has asked lawmakers to restore the quotas - an appeal that gained momentum Tuesday as both Sunni and Shiite leaders gave their backing to the minorities.
The Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party called on parliament to restore the quotas, arguing that “all Iraqis must enjoy all their civil and political rights without exception.”
“We have to achieve unity among all Iraqis for the sake of a prosperous and unified Iraq,” it said.
Safiya al-Suhail, a female Shiite lawmaker whose father was assassinated by Saddam Hussein’s agents in Beirut in the 1990s, called on Talabani to reject the law as it stands now.
“Ignoring the rights of the minorities in the provincial elections law is a disaster for the democracy of Iraq,” she said. “We should work to make a legal adjustment as soon as parliament resumes its sessions.”
Talabani vetoed a previous version of the law due to a Kurdish-Arab dispute over power-sharing issues in the oil-rich area of Kirkuk. That issue was set aside to obtain consensus on the current law amid heavy U.S. pressure.
Thousands of Christians protested Sunday to demand the safeguards be put back into law, some expressing fear that the erosion of their rights was an attempt to force them to flee the country.
“We strongly support the minorities in claiming their rights in the provincial elections law,” al-Sadr’s spokesman, al-Obeidi, told The Associated Press.
“According to Muqtada al-Sadr’s latest instructions, we are ready to support them if they ask for support. We can stage a huge demonstration if they want,” said al-Obeidi.
Tell Pres. Bush and UN Sec.Gen. Ban Ki Moon
"Christians are Facing extinction" in Iraq
Though the Security situation in Iraq has improved to the point that allows the Iraqi government and the US negotiate the withdrawal of the American troops from that county the systematic persecution of the Christians of Iraq by the Jihadists who are determent to impose on them the subservient Muslim Dhimmi statue or to drive them out of the country continues. see:
Iraqi Christians Face New Persecution
Click on the Photo
Eilool = September
Iraq: New Election law disadvantages minorities – Quota system called for Sept. 30, 08
Demonstration in the Plain of Nineveh Sept. 30, 08
Iraq PM seeks safeguards for Christians Sept. 29, 08
Obama Questions Rice on Marginalization of Iraq's Minorities
Sept. 29, 08
A Political Coup Against Iraq's Minorities Sept. 29, 08
Assyrian Church of the East calls for Assyrian rights in Iraq
Sept. 28, 08
Let’s Hear You Loud and Clear! Sept. 28, 08
Iraqi Christians protest the end of their representation in government Sept. 28, 08
Article Guaranteeing Minority Electoral Rights Removed from Iraqi Electoral Law Sept. 27, 08
'If You Want to See Blood Come to Mosul' Sept. 22, 08
Assyrians call for unity in Iraq Sept. 22, 08
The Iraqi Police in Mosul managed to release the kidnapped Riyadh Batti Sept. 20, 08
First economic newspaper published in Mosul Sept. 18, 08
The Churches have a role to play in Iraq Sept. 18, 08
Turkey Attempting to Confiscate Assyrian Monastery's Land
Sept. 17, 08
Refugees Employment Assistance in Lodon Sept. 16, 08
Fresh violence in Mosul, two Christians kidnapped and killed
Sept. 16, 08
Assyrians in Northern Iraq Say They Will Not Return to Baghdad
Sept. 16, 08
Assyria, Art & Empire" treasures of Assyria from the British Museum Sept. 15, 08
`Yesterday's Children - Growing up Assyrian in Persia'. Sept. 15, 08
The 25th Worldwide AUA Congress Sept. 15, 08
A New Assyrian Cook Book Sept. 14, 08
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED AT THE UNITY FESTIVAL Sept. 13, 08
Mandaean family murdered in Baghdad Sept. 12, 08
Kurdish Land Grabs Leave Assyrians Dependent on Food Aid Sept. 11, 08
War on Christians in the Middle East must be stopped Sept. 8, 08
Iraq’s first Christian militia takes stand against Qaeda Sept. 8, 08
Sion Ebrahami: I was taken hostage by the moujahadeen Sept. 4, 08
Iraqi media ignore kidnapping of Christians, archbishop says
Sept. 4, 08
Ab = August
Relations Sour Between Kurds and Central Government August 31, 08
A Half Million Iraqi Christians Among Refugees August 28, 08
Iraq archbishop speaks out as abductions increase August 28, 08
Kirkuk, the Little Iraq August 25, 08
Protest on the highest mountains in Australia in remembrance of the Assyrian Genocide August 25, 08
The Pot Calling the Kettle Black August 21, 08
Iraqi Christians: Round Trip to Death Street August 21, 08
In Kirkuk Christian and Muslim Leaders Pray for Peace in the Country August 20, 08
Torture Chamber, Bodies Found At Mosque in Iraq August 20, 08
Paul Batou at the ALLISON COREY Gallery August 19, 08
Ancient Assyrian Monumental Art Work Heralded at MFA Boston
August 16, 08
Famed singers celebrate the Assyrian culture at Gallo Center
August 15, 08
The Only Christian Assyrian member of Iraqi parliament touring U.S. August 14, 08
Iraq Press Roundup about Kurds and Kirkuk August 14, 08
COMMEMORATION OF THE ASSYRIAN GENOCIDE AND MARTYRS DAY in Australia August 12, 08
Assyrian community in Canada marks Genocide Awareness Day
August 12, 08
Tammuz = July
Climbing the Rigi mountain to remember the Assyrian, Armenian and Greek Genocide of 1915 July 22, 08
Christians from Iraq need our help July 22, 08
Iraq's Shabak Accuse Kurds of Killing Their Leader July 16, 08
Western Christians can ‘Save Iraq Christians July 16, 08
Iraq's Mosul Struggles to Shake Off Al Qaeda July 16, 08
Iraqi minorities' long wait for freedom July 16, 08
YouTube: Simo Parpola about Assyrians; and their present plight
July 12, 08
Iraq's Persecution of Christians Continues to Spiral out of Control
July 11, 08
Iraqi Christians Face New Persecution July 11, 08
Assyrians: A Minority Between Genocide and Fear of Terrorism July 3, 08
Iraq: Islamist group threatens churches in Mosul
July 3, 08
Khziran = June
A Difficult Place for Christians: Believers in Iraq June 27, 08
EU Countries Move to Stop Flood of Iraqi Refugees June 26, 08
For Iraqi Christians, Money Bought Survival June 26, 08
Second Mysterious Fire Destroys Catholic Church in Cairo June 25,08
Christians in the Middle East Live'As in a Cage' June 24, 08
Another Surge Needed: Support the Christians in Iraq June 24, 08
‘Little Baghdad’ thrives in Sweden Sodertalje has taken in more Iraqis than U.S., is but mood changing June 24, 08
Muslims Attack Christian Homes and Businesses in Cairo June 23, 08
Informal meeting of the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East June 22, 08
Conversations with the Assyrians of Mardin June 22, 08
IRAQ RELIGIOUS KILLINGS June 14, 08
By Hon. David Clarke, At the Parliament of New South Wales Australia
European Parliament Conference Highlights Assyrian Suffering in Iraq June 14, 08
Dora Today June 12, 08
“Why Arab countries need them ? ” June 12, 08
The Latest Islamic Suicide Attack June 11, 08
Egyptian Writer: It's 'Open Season' On Egypt's Christian Copts June 10, 08
Rosie Malek-Yonan Joins Cast of General Hospital June 09, 08
Assyrian woman gets heart surgery at Mercy Gilbert June 08, 08
30 minute film by German TV Channel about the plight of Iraq's Chrisitan Assyrans June 07, 08