Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Login

Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using
 

Email

 

Rudaw

Iraq

Yezidi MP ‘pessimistic’ about future in post-ISIS Iraq

By 25/1/2018
In Bashiqa earlier this month, Yezidis celebrate reopening a temple that had been destroyed by ISIS. Photo: AFP
In Bashiqa earlier this month, Yezidis celebrate reopening a temple that had been destroyed by ISIS. Photo: AFP
By Hiwa Ali

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Iraq’s sole Yezidi member of parliament is “pessimistic” about what the future holds for minority communities in the country as it looks to recover from ISIS.

In a recent parliamentary session addressing the country’s May 12 elections, a number of MPs submitted a motion to the speaker of the parliament Salim al-Jabouri to increase the number of seats allocated to Yezidis under the country’s quota system, but were turned down by the speaker, MP Vian Dakhil told Rudaw English.

She said this is violates a Federal Court order issued earlier this month that ruled Yezidis must have more seats in the legislature, reflective of the size of the population. 

Dakhil said she approached the speaker on four occasions to request a vote on her motion that was backed by 70 MPs, but the session ended without the vote.

“I am very pessimistic about the future of minorities in Iraq… [They] have been very much neglected,” Dakhil told Rudaw. 

She explained that minority communities, Yezidis in particular, have not been represented fairly in the parliament. 

According to the Iraqi constitution, each MP represents 100,000 people. There are an estimated 500,000 Yezidis in Iraq, meaning they should have five seats in the parliament. 

The population of Iraq has increased since the rules were set, so should the seats in the parliament, argued Ashwaq Jaf, a Kurdish MP in the Iraqi parliament, stating that Kurds, who are the second largest bloc with 65 seats, are also victims of “blatant violations” in the parliament. 

“There is no true democracy in Iraq, but only a façade,” she said.

Jaf believes the parliament is refusing to add seats because of costs, but the legislature did allocate a quota seat for Faili Kurd minority for the first time this year. 

According to Ali Hussein Faili, a Faili journalist, the Iraqi parliament initially intended to give three seats for Faili Kurds in the provinces of Diyala, Baghdad, and Wasit, but ultimately assigned just one in Wasit.

The Failis may deserve more seats in the parliament, but their exact number is unknown since there are no recent official statistics, he explained, adding that some Failis prefer not be identified as such because they are living among other ethnicities.

According to unofficial statistics, there are roughly 1.5 million Faili Kurds in Iraq with the majority of them living outside Kurdish administrated areas in provinces of Diyala, Khanaqin, Wasit, and Baghdad. 

After the devastation inflicted on Iraq, including many minority groups, by ISIS, Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has stressed the importance of rebuilding ties between communities as the country looks to its future. 

Meeting with Yezidi and Christian religious leaders recently, Abadi highlighted the importance of the minorities in preserving the diversity of the Iraqi society.

In December, Abadi met the spiritual father of the Yezidi community in Iraq, Baba Sheikh Khurto Hajji, and emphasized “the keenness of the Iraqi government to take care of all the components of the Iraqi people and its commitment to give it the status it deserves. They are representing a dear part of our Iraqi people.”

He met with Christian leaders in January 2018 and conveyed a similar message to them, stressing “the need to preserve religious and sectarian diversity because it is the identity of Iraq and the source of its strength, noting that terrorism tried to erase this identity, but it did fail because of our nation unity.”

Abadi promised to bring the displaced minorities back to their areas and provide them with security. 

The Iraqi government, however, has not provided the budget to rebuild these areas so far, Vian Dakhil has said. 

1790 Views

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

Amed | 10/7/2018 10:26:05 AM
Once the PKK is eliminated the Kurds in the region will prosper with new trade with Turkey. PKK is a huge problem for the Kurds, they're preventing...
Bradost | 10/19/2018 8:49:43 AM
I wonder why they chose Mergasor, Kani Rash in Bradost region would have made more sense!
Locals expect economic boost from new Kurdistan-Turkey link
| 5/10/2018 | (5)
love Peshmerga, AK USA | 10/19/2018 1:16:18 AM
PUK always denies on every thing they do and what they say just like they denied giving kirkuk to Iraq regime also making thire frinds happy in Iran....
pete | 10/19/2018 6:39:44 AM
Both these parties are criminal organisations. They are the shame of Kurdistan. They make the Iraqi Kurds look like prehistoric fools to the...
PUK tells KDP to get over it, bigger challenges lie ahead
| yesterday at 10:26 | (6)
mark bishop | 10/18/2018 9:17:30 AM
After reading Masoud Barzani's statement on October 16, I believe that we are given only half of a message. He says that the events leading up to...
John Bird | 10/19/2018 3:27:59 AM
PUK is a great place for gangsters, hoodlums, mobsters, cutthroats, villains, bandits, crooks, racketeers and hooligans. But not for highly educated...
Former Kirkuk governor Karim denies joining KDP
| yesterday at 11:07 | (3)
Guest | 10/18/2018 1:49:48 PM
The individual who made a comment about the U.S. holding a gun to his head, doesn't understand what he is talking about. The U.S. government has...
Saad hussien | 10/19/2018 2:02:49 AM
Hello May you please send your email or atelephone no. To contact your company With my respect Eng. saad From CA/ USA
US's General Electric beats out Germany's Siemens for Iraq contract - report
| 18/10/2018 | (3)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

Kirkuk governor orders Kurdish groups, workers’ syndicates to vacate offices 18 hours ago |

Kirkuk governor orders Kurdish groups, workers’ syndicates to vacate offices

"We assure teachers that we won’t vacate this more
Trump says Saudi journalist likely dead, warns of ‘severe’ response 20 hours ago |

Trump says Saudi journalist likely dead, warns of ‘severe’ response

“It certainly looks that way to me. It’s very more
Turkey to host Syria summit with Russia, Germany, France 21 hours ago |

Turkey to host Syria summit with Russia, Germany, France

"To harmonize joint efforts for finding a lasting more
0.391 seconds