Hundreds of thousands Feyli Kurds will have representative in the Iraqi Parliament

Narin Rostam-KirkukNow For the first time, Feyli Kurds will choose a representative for the Council of Representatives of Iraq through their votes, after a quota seat for this component was allocated. The parliament will have 329 seats for the next term which divided over the provinces and nine of them are quota seats according to the Iraqi parliament election law. One of the quota seats is for Feyli Kurds. Feyli female poet, Vmyaw Mlkshahi said, “The suffering of the Feyli Kurds begins with birth, we are Kurds, we have the right to exist and have voice in the Iraqi Parliament, and compensate our deprived rights.” Feyli Kurds are estimated to be 800 thousand people in Iraq, and the majority of this component is resident in Diyala territories, Baghdad, and Wasit province. Saadun Feyli, PUK communications official in Baghdad, says that due to the fact that Feyli Kurds are resident in Shiite controlled territories, in previous elections, Shiite were getting more votes, and sectarian won over nationalism.

Baghdad, 2017. A meeting of the Council of Representatives of Iraq. Photo: Council of Representatives of Iraq Media
Six candidates from three coalition and lists which are Feyli Front, Gathering of Feyli Union, and Iraqi Feyli coalition alongside six independent candidates compete on one Feyli quota seat in Wasit province for the upcoming Iraqi parliament election on May 12th. Mr. Saadun also said, “The Kurds will not participate in the election with one list for Baghdad which resulted in the decline of the Kurds votes in the region. In the first Iraqi election in 2005, when all of the Kurdish political parties participated in the election with one list, we got a great number of votes and became stronger.” During the Baath regime, Feyli Kurds experienced expulsion and taking back of their citizenship because they were Shiite. The Iraqi High Criminal Court issued their case as genocide in 2010. Political analysts, Ali Ahmad Feyli (Age 54) thinks that allocating a quota seat to Feyli Kurds is the only decent attempt that has been made during the past many years and said, “It is crucial for us to have representative in the Iraqi parliament to be able to remind the parliament of our needs and demands that Kurdistan Regional Government has forgotten.”
It is our right to exist and have voice in the Iraqi parliament and to compensate our deprived rights
After the fall of Baath regime in 2003 and their return to Iraq, Feyli Kurds have had experienced threats and were forced to leave the country again. During the Kurdistan referendum in September of last year, Feyli Kurds were again pressured especially by Baghdad. When we were threatened during the referendum, the reason was not our sectarian belief, but because we are Kurds.” Ali Feyli is concerned about the role of the Kurdish Region officials in the Feyli Kurds issue and says, “The political parties of Kurdistan use our case as a mean of electoral campaigns whilst they have to give us positions within the Council of ministers and other governmental bodies of the region instead of neglecting us.” There is no seat allocated to Feyli Kurds in both Kurdistan parliament and its provincial councils, but in Iraq they have quota seats in the Council of Representatives and both provincial councils in Baghdad and Wasit provinces.  

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