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Assyrian, Kurdish Parties Unite Election Boycott, Citing Constitutional Concerns
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Joint statement released Monday March 18, representatives of various Christian communities, including Chaldeans, Assyrians, Syrians, and Armenians.
In a joint statement released today, representatives of various Christian communities, including Chaldeans, Assyrians, Syrians, and Armenians, alongside prominent Kurdish political entities, expressed their solidarity in support of the Kurdistan Democratic Party's (PDK) decision to refuse to participate in the upcoming elections. The move comes amidst growing concerns over the legality and fairness of the electoral process.

The statement, signed by key organizations such as the Hammurabi Coalition, underscores their commitment to upholding constitutional principles and safeguarding democracy in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

The decision to abstain from the elections is viewed as a necessary step to counter what they perceive as unconstitutional circumstances surrounding the electoral process.

According to the statement, the collective decision by Christians and Turkmens, followed by the decisive stance of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, represents a significant effort to preserve the constitutional integrity of the Kurdistan Region and uphold democratic values. President Massoud Barzani is commended for his unwavering dedication to democratic ideals and fostering coexistence, particularly during challenging times.

Emphasizing the importance of fair elections, the signatories stress the need for electoral processes to adhere to legal and constitutional frameworks established within the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). They advocate for elections conducted under Kurdish law, free from external interference, to ensure impartiality and inclusivity for all Kurds.

"We support the PDK's statement and all efforts aimed at protecting democracy and the impartiality of legal institutions," the statement reads. "Any decision that undermines Iraq's democracy must be opposed, as it disregards the sacrifices made by countless martyrs in establishing the current constitutional framework."

The joint statement serves as a testament to the unity between Christian and Kurdish parties in advocating for transparent and equitable governance in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq as a whole. As the region prepares for future electoral processes, the signatories remain steadfast in their commitment to upholding democratic values and the rule of law.

The declaration concludes with the signatories representing the Christian community, underscoring the unified front presented by the Chaldean, Assyrian, Syrian, Armenian, and Kurdish communities in their pursuit of a fair and just electoral system.

Signatories include:

  • Chaldean National Congress
  • Syriac Assembly Movement
  • Taif Executive Committee Armenian Orthodox
  • the Shlama Trend for Christian Affairs
  • Chaldean Democratic Union
  • World Chaldean Alliance
  • Armenian Cultural Association
  • Hammurabi Coalition - Iraq
  • The Unity Alliance of Iraq
  • Chaldean High Political Committee

Decisions of the Federal Court Regarding the Kurdistan Region:

In under 7 years, the Federal Supreme Court of Iraq has issued a series of decisions targeting the Kurdistan Region, its constitutional status, and its diverse components. Despite Article 92 of the Constitution not explicitly outlining the court's jurisdiction over federal states, it persistently challenges the legal standing of the Kurdistan Region and its components within Iraq.

The Federal Court's rulings against the Kurdistan Region and other components from 2017 until the end of February 2023 are outlined as follows:

On November 20, 2017, the Iraqi Supreme Court deemed the Kurdistan Regional Government's referendum unconstitutional, thereby annulling its outcomes.

  • On February 15, 2022, it declared the Oil and Gas Law unconstitutional and unjust.
  • On October 4, 2022, the High Commission for Elections and Referendums deemed the Kurdistan Region's existence unconstitutional.
  • On January 25, 2023, the court ruled that transferring funds to the Kurdistan Region violates both the law and constitutional articles.
  • On May 30, 2023, the extension of the fifth session of the Kurdistan Parliament was revoked.
  • On August 28, 2023, rulings against individuals obstructing the opening of political party headquarters in Kirkuk were nullified.
  • On September 3, 2023, the handover of the Kurdistan Democratic Party headquarters in Kirkuk, repurposed as the joint operations headquarters post-2017, was halted.
  • On November 14, 2023, a decision against the Sunni component saw Muhammad al-Halbousi relieved from the presidency of the Iraqi Parliament.
  • On February 21, 2024, the court decreed a reduction in the number of seats in the Kurdistan Parliament to 100, canceling 11 seats allocated for component quotas.

Additionally, the Federal Court mandated that the Independent High Electoral Commission in Iraq oversee the sixth round of parliamentary elections in the Kurdistan Region, superseding the Kurdistan Regional Commission for Referendum and Elections. Furthermore, it divided the region into four electoral districts, departing from the previous single-district system.

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