Monday, November 16, 2009

Kurdish provinces at risk of losing parliamentary seats

Rudaw- The distribution of the next parliamentary seats by the Iraqi High Electoral Commission has left the Kurds angry as the see their region gets unfair number of seats in the next National Assembly. The Kurdistan Parliament on Sunday held an emergency session to address the issue. The Kurdish parliament sent a letter to the Iraqi parliament calling for a better mechanism to distribute the parliamentary seats on the provinces. The Iraqi parliament passed the election laws in November 8. It decided to hold the elections in open list and instead of considering Iraq as a single election circle; Iraq will be divided into 18 circles. Thus each province will get a certain number of seats depending on its population. The parliament also increased the number of seats from 275 to 323. IHEC has allocated only 38 seats for the provinces under the control of Kurdistan Regional Government, while other provinces of Iraq, Kurds say, have been given huge numbers that don’t represent the size of its population. IHEC says it has used data of population increase in each government that has been produced by the Ministry of Trade (MoT). IHEC said that depending on the population increase provinces have been given addition seats. For example the population of Nineveh province has increased by 1, 3 million, thus the province obtains an additional 13 seats to get a total of 31 seats in the next parliament, Tanya Tal’at, a member of the Kurdistan Alliance List, told the Peyamner News Agency. He said that according to the Ministry of Trade the populations of Sulaimaniya and Erbil have not changed since the last elections four years ago, as a result the two provinces will not see any increase in the number of representatives in the next parliament. “Unfair seat allocation by relying on food ration (and) no census makes Iraqi Kurdistan suffer most in next election,” wrote Mahmoud Othman, another member of the Kurdish Alliance, on his Tweeter. “This is Not acceptable!” Other provinces that saw dramatic increase were Baghdad, nine seats, and Basra, eight seats. To see the chart of the Parliamentary seat distributions click


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