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Six More Assyrian Parties Announce Boycott of Kurdistan Elections
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Six Christian political parties on Thursday announced that they would not take part in the Kurdistan Region's upcoming general elections due to the elimination of the quota seats by an Iraqi top court, joining several other Christian and Turkmen political parties.

The Assyrian Democratic Movement, the Beit Nahrain National Unity Party, the Assyrian Democratic Party, the Assyrian Syriac Chaldean People's Council, the Sons of Nahrain Party and the Beit Nahrain Democratic Party announced in a joint statement on Thursday that they would not participate in the Kurdistan Region's June 10 parliamentary elections, citing concerns over the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court's recent decision which eliminated the 11 quota seats allocated for minorities.

"If any individual takes part [in the elections] through the general lists to reach the parliament, they will not represent us and we will not abide by their positions and policies," read the joint statement from the Christian political parties.

Jinan Jabbar, leader of the Chaldean National Party, on Monday read out a statement from his party and a number of other Christian parties, including the National Unity Alliance and the Chaldeal Political Board, announcing their boycott of the Kurdistan Region's June polls.

Jabbar told reporters that the federal court's ruling was a "great injustice" against Christians and a "dangerous violation of the rights of the minorities."

In Ainkawa, situated at the northern edge of Erbil city, residents gathered in front of the Cathedral of Saint Joseph last week to protest the "blatant injustice and the unjust decision to remove the quota seats," calling on the Baghdad court to reverse the ruling.

The court ruling is very significant for the minorities as it rules that their candidates for the Kurdistan parliament can no longer only run against other minority candidates competing for the designated quota seats, with Christian and Turkmen parties having to resort to fielding their candidates against those of better-funded, established Kurdish political parties.

Several Turkmen political parties have also announced that they would not take part in the June polls.

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani has set June 10 as the new date for the Region's general elections which have been repeatedly delayed due to disputes between the Region's ruling parties on how the polls should be held and in relation to the dissolution of the Kurdish legislature after the federal court deemed its self-extension "unconstitutional."

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