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Iraq's Allocation of Five Parliament Seats Unjust: Assyrian Council

Alan Hormuz, a member of the Assyrian Council (a political party in the Iraqi Parliament), during an interview with Kurdistan 24, Feb. 6, 2018. ( Kurdistan 24)
The leader of a Christian party in the Iraqi Parliament on Tuesday said Baghdad's recent allocation of only five seats in the Parliament is a sign of continued oppression against the group.

Alan Hormuz, a member of the Assyrian Council (a political party in the Iraqi Parliament), told Kurdistan 24 that Iraq's allocation of five seats for Christian parties contradicts the Iraqi Constitution.

"Baghdad has allocated five seats in the Iraqi Parliament to the Christians, which is an injustice against us," he said. "This decision is contrary to the Iraqi Constitution which stipulated the establishment of a seat for every hundred thousand voters."

"We deserve 15 seats, but the exclusionary mentality in Baghdad is unacceptable," Hormuz stated.

The Christian party leader noted the difference in the Kurdistan Region compared to Iraq, stating that Christians "are grateful to Kurdistan [who] grants us our rights."

Christian parties in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) currently hold five percent of the seats in Parliament.

Additionally, the KRG refuses to use the term "minorities" when referring to Christians or other ethnic and racial groups in the Region, stressing that they are an integral part of Kurdistan.

Senior officials in Iraq, however, continue to use the term "minorities" in government documents and correspondence when describing Christians or other groups.

The Christian population in Iraq was once as large as 1.5 million but is now believed to have reached less than half of that.

Since 2003, Christians in the country have been subjected to violence, especially at the hands of the so-called Islamic State and Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militias.

The ongoing persecution has led many of them to flee to Kurdistan which has earned a reputation as a haven for all components and displaced persons.

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