Challenges rewriting of law

Human rights board questions court verdict on minority quotas

ERBIL — The Independent Human Rights Board in the Kurdistan Region has raised concerns about the Federal Court of Iraq’s decision to annul the minority quota seats in the Kurdistan Parliament, arguing that the court does not have the authority to directly modify the text of laws.

The board’s statement emphasized the critical role of political participation rights in the parliament, local councils, and other governmental institutions, describing them as “constitutionally enshrined rights” that have been recognized in the Kurdistan Region since the 1992 parliamentary elections through the fifth parliament.

On Wednesday, Iraq’s Federal Supreme Court made significant rulings, deeming several aspects of the Kurdistan Region’s Parliament Election Law unconstitutional. This decision mandates substantial adjustments to the region’s legislative framework and election protocols, notably eliminating the allocation of 11 seats reserved for minorities and revising the total number of parliamentarians in the text of the law itself to 100.

Mohammed Gomashini, spokesperson for the Independent Human Rights Board, told 964media that the Federal Court’s ruling was based on decisions number 53 of 2023 and number 26 of 2020 to alter the election law. The board maintains that such changes are beyond the court’s legal scope.

Attempts to reach the head of the board for further comment were unsuccessful.

The board’s release highlighted, “The Iraqi constitution explicitly stresses the need to represent Iraq’s diverse components in parliament, yet the Federal Court’s directive effectively eliminates this quota.”