None from Sinjar
Three Yezidi candidates elected to Iraqi parliament

May 23, 2018 at 12:47 am

Sheikhan, 17 April 2018, Red Wednesday Feast in Lalish temple. Photo: Muhannad Sinjari

Sheikhan, 17 April 2018, Red Wednesday Feast in Lalish temple. Photo: Muhannad Sinjari

Muhannad Sinjari

Three Yazidi candidates were able to win seats in the Iraqi parliament, without any representative from Sinjar among them, while 50 Yezidi candidates competed throughout the campaign to win one seat each in Ninawa province.

According to the parliamentary election of 12 May, two candidates of Yezidi component could reach parliament through mainstream political parties, while one through the quota system of Ninawa province for Yezidis.

The only Yazidi seat, won through the quota system, was for Saeb Khidir, with more than three thousand votes and as a candidate of Yezidi Progress Party in Bashiik. Meanwhile, Hussein Hasan could win through around three thousand votes on (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) PUK list, as well as Khalida Khalil, (Kurdistan Democratic Party) KDP candidate, with more than two thousand votes.

In the parliamentary campaign, four Yezidi blocs offered 22 candidates separately, with tens of other candidates among Kurdish and Arab blocs of Ninawa province.

The High Commission of Lalish Culture Centre condemned lack of Sinjar representatives in Iraqi parliament in a statement after local candidates failed to make it through.

Sinjar district, 120km west of Mosul, is populated mostly by Yazidi component. Following the Islamic State (ISIS) occupation in mid-2014, peshmerga and Kurdistan Workers Party-affiliated forces controlled it once again in November 2015.

General-Secretary of Yazidi Democratic Party, Haidar Shasho, told KirkukNow his party would win the majority if it were not for  “fraud” conducted through the election process.

Shasho’s party assigned 16 candidates in the election campaign, but later decided not to compete to win the quota seat of Yezidis, saying, “More than 80% of Yazidi votes in the camps have been seized.” He accused the electoral body of delaying the count of those votes.

While his party, and many others, have complaints and appeal against the election results, but the Independent High Election Commission (IHEC) officials insisted in numerous press conferences that the process had been successful. Votes from a hundred voting stations have been rejected, while they claim the votes do not need a manual recount.

In the last three tenures of the Iraqi parliament, Yazidis had one quota seat, occupied by the representative of Yezidi Movement for Reform and Progress each time. Meanwhile, Viyan Dakhil made it to parliament in the last tenure on KDP’s list.

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