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Iraqi Minority Groups Want More Seats In Local Governments

BAGHDAD -- Iraqi minority groups are demanding changes to legislation that sets quotas for minority seats on provincial councils, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) reports.

Minority group representatives urged the Iraqi Presidency Council not to sign the bill passed by parliament on November 3 and return it to lawmakers.

Jamil Zito, the chairman of the Chaldean-Assyrian Council, told RFI that "Iraq's Christians were hoping that various political factions would accept the UN Mission in Iraq proposal" that each minority have three seats in the Council of Provinces, but they rejected it and assigned just one seat for each minority.

Sayid Sallu, an official with the Yezidi Cultural Center, told RFI that the legislation curtails the rights of Yezidis. He said there are some 350,000 Yezidis in Mosul Governorate alone, and that greater Yezidi representation is needed.