The Role of the Yazidis in the parliamentary elections
In the four parts of Kurdistan, fifty million Kurds built up great hopes of building a better Kurdistan in the parliamentary elections that took place in the Iraqi Kurdistan region on Saturday. The approximately 3 million eligible voters voted for one of the 31 political entities competing for seats in the 111-seat parliament seats, with 100 of the seats being described as general and 11 being allocated to representatives of religious and ethnic minorities in the region. The Yazidi Kurds played an important role in the parliamentary elections, with 16 000 votes cast in all: 12 000 within Kurdistan and another 4 000 outside the region. The Yazidis voted into parliament will serve as representatives for their people and help enact laws, many of which will concern Yazidi issues—primarily their personal status. The Yazidis have expressed their happiness at being able to vote for their representatives in the Kurdistan parliament. Shekh Shamo, an election candidate for the parliamentary election, urged Yazidis to participate and cast their votes—primarily for the development of Kurdistan, and secondly to have a representative in parliament. Shamo added that he had worked hard to explain the goals he aims to serve for the Yazidis and for a better Kurdistan. He added that he hoped every Yazidi would participate in this elections—if they did, the situation would change and we would be allocated more than ten seats in line with Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution. According to some sources, Shamo received between 8 500 and 9 500 votes; Ali Yazdin, another Yazidi candidate from the Yakati list, got between 1 500 and 2 000 votes. Haveen Mustafa, a Yazidi voter, expressed her happiness at casting her vote to a Yazidi nominee: “I am very happy to have nominees representing Yazidis in Kurdistan's parliament; it is the duty of every Yazidi who is eligible to cast their vote in this election”. “It’s very important, too, to have someone concerned about us in parliament,” added Mustafa. Another young man who wished to remain anonymous said: “We went en- thusiastically to the ballot box to cast our votes to serve our nominees; later they will serve us”. Having Yazidi representatives in the Kurdistan parliament is a step toward progress and coexistence in the region— things every Yazidi wants.
An old woman who cast her vote on election day.