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Assyrian politics in Iraq

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Assyrian politics in Iraq

Assyrians in Bakhdida protesting the Constitution of Iraq resolution in 2005.

Assyrian politics in Iraq have been taking many different turns since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Today, there are many different Assyrian political parties in Iraq. The main Assyrian party that came out from the 2005 elections was the Assyrian Democratic Movement. However, Sarkis Aghajan began to challenge its power beginning in 2006 with the opening of Ishtar TV and the Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Popular Council.

Iraqi Kurdistan Parliamentary election, 1992

On May 19, 1992, elections were held for the Kurdistan National Assembly (KNA,) the parliament of the Kurdish Autonomous Region in Iraq. At the time, the National Assembly had 105 seats. The parties representing the Assyrian community competed in a closed list guaranteeing that there would be five Assyrian seats in the KNA. There were four Assyrian lists in the elections:


Dohuk 5,555 1,841 181 241
Erbil 900 880 347 1,855
Sulemani 83 36 9 38
(parts of Kirkuk)
4 - - -
Total 6,543

A minimum of 2,400 votes was required to win a seat. ADM won four seats and one was won by the Kurdistan Christian Unity. The names of those elected into the parliament:

Francis Youif was assassinated on June 1, 1993, in Dohuk.[2]

Iraqi parliamentary election, January 2005

Iraqi parliamentary election, January 2005

A general election was held on 30 January 2005 to elect a temporary 275-member Council of Representatives of Iraq. It was the first time in the history of Iraq (outside of KRG-areas) that Assyrian political parties had been allowed to be part of the electoral system. In the elections, there were three different Assyrian lists;

Assyrian Democratic Movement
  • Assyrian National Assembly (139)
Assyrian National Congress
Assyrian Bet-Nahrain Democratic Party of Sargon Dadesho
  • Bet-Nahrain Democratic Coalition (148)
Patriotic Bet-Nahrain
Syriac Independent Gathering Movement

Chaldean National Congress was initially part of list 204, but ended up dropping off before the election. Chaldean Democratic Union Party (CDUP), Assyrian Patriotic Party (APP) and Bet Nahrain Democratic Party (BNDP) of Romeo Hakkari joined the Kurdistani list (130).

Anbar 10 1 4
Arbil 958 106 217
Babil 104 72 101
Baghdad 7,430 1,210 1,472
Basra 120 153 179
Diyala 219 114 56
Dohuk 4,165 155 137
Karbala 44 57 75
Kirkuk 978 599 389
Missan 15 29 29
Muthanna 10 22 18
Najaf 56 59 63
Ninawa 3,346 97 302
Qadissiya 38 57 48
Salahadin 10 18 31
Sulaymani 99 39 174
Thiqar 68 101 92
Wasit 47 32 27
Out-of-country voting 18,538 4,198 727
Total 36,255 7,119 4,141

In all, six Assyrians were elected to the parliament. National Rafidain list got the minimum required votes for a seat in the parliament and it was given to Yonadam Kanna (ADM.) Other Assyrians that were elected into the parliament include Goriel Mineso Khamis (BNDP), Nuri Potrus 'Atto, Ablahad Afraim Sawa (CDUP) and Jacklin Qosin Zomaya (APP) all under the Kurdistani list (130.) Wijdan Michael was elected under Iyad Allawi's secular list.

Iraq Governorate Elections, 2005

On the same day, Iraq held a local governorate elections in all 18 provinces. Assyrian political parties participitated in 4 of the 18 local governorate elections. The only Assyrian party that won a seat in any governorate was the Assyrian Democratic Movement in the Nineveh Governorate. The party received 4,650 votes and captured one seat (out of 41.)

Minimum votes
per seat
Arbil 2,001 - 15,120
Dohuk 4,919 - 8,918
Kirkuk 1,554 - 8,727
Nineveh 4,650 2,315 3,451

In addition, Salvana Boya of the Assyrian Patriotic Party was elected in the Kirkuk Governorate council under the Kurdistani list.[3]

Iraqi Kurdistan Parliamentary election, 2005

Elections for the Kurdistan National Assembly, the parliament of the Kurdish Autonomous Region (Iraqi Kurdistan) of Iraq, were held on 30 January 2005, to coincide with the Iraqi legislative election and provincial council elections. All Assyrian-based parties joined the Democratic Patriotic Alliance of Kurdistan. The coalition won 104 of the 111 seats in the parliament, of which 5 were won by Assyrians:

(in order as they were in the coalition list)
  • Jamal Shamon Yalya (CCS) - 69
  • Romeo Hakkari (BNDP) - 71
  • Bayzar Milko Rohan (CDUP) - 72
  • Andreaus Youkhana Georgis (ADM) - 73
  • Galawesh Shaba Hojji (ADM) - 76

Iraqi Parliamentary Election, 2005 (December)

A woman voting in the village of Alqosh.

A general election was held on 15 December 2005 to elect a permanent 275-member Iraqi Council of Representatives. The elections took place under a list system, whereby voters chose from a list of parties. In the elections, there were three main Assyrian list:

Bet Nahrain National Union
Chaldean National Congress
Assyrian Patriotic Party
Syriac Independent Gathering Movement
Chaldean Democratic Forum
Hikmat Hakim, as Independent

Other Assyrian parties decided to side with non-Assyrian based list. The Chaldean Democratic Union Party decided to run under the Kurdish list (730.) The Iraqi Christian Democratic Party of Minas al-Yousifi joined the list of the Iraqi National Dialogue Front (667.) Bet Nahrain Democratic Party of Romeo Hakkari withdrew.

In all, three Assyrians were voted into the parliament. ADM succeeded in capturing one parliament seat in the Baghdad governorate, which was given to the secretary of its party, Yonadam Kanna. Fawzi Hariri (KDP) and Ablahad Afraim Sawa (CDUP) under the Kurdistani list (730) for the Arbil governorate were voted in as well.

Iraqi Governorate Elections 2009

A local governorate election was held on January 31, 2009 in Iraq.There were no elections in the heavily-Assyrian populated north governorate of Dohuk and Arbil (including Slemani and Kirkuk.) 440 seats in 14 (of the 18) Iraqi governorates were up for grabs.

In the last local governorate elections, only one seat (in Nineveh) was won by Assyrians (ADM.) Unlike the 2005 local elections, minority groups had reserved seats ahead of the election. Three seats were reserved for Assyrians; one each in the provinces of Neneveh, Baghdad and Basra.

In the election, there were three main Assyrian blocks fighting for votes. The Assyrian Democratic Movement being one, under the list titled National Rafidain List (504). The other being a Kurdistan Democratic Party-backed block titled the Ishtar Patriotic List (513).

The Ishtar Patriotic List included the following:

The third major list was the Chaldean Democratic Union Party (503).

The Nineveh seat was won by Saad Tanios Jaji of SIGM. The Baghdad seat was won by Gewargis Isho Sada of the BNDP. The Ishtar Patriotic List decided not to run in the Basra elections, however, it supported the Chaldean National Congress (CNC.) The Basra seat was won by Saad Matti Boutros of the CDUP.

Iraqi Kurdistan Parliamentary election, 2009

The Iraqi Kurdistan region held elections to elect its 111-member Kurdistan National Assembly on 25 July 2009. Five seats are reserved for Assyrians. There were 8 Assyrian parties that initially signed up to participate in the elections. Prior to the elections, BNDP decided to withdraw. APP and KACP decided to run on a joint list. CDUP and CNC merged in a joint list as well.

  • Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Popular Council List (68)
Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Popular Council
Assyrian Democratic Movement
  • Self government List (65)
Assyrian Patriotic Party
Khaldu-Ashur Communist Party
  • Chaldean United List (64)
Chaldean Democratic Union Party
Chaldean Democratic Forum
Results Total Seats
Dohuk Zakho Shaqlawa Diana Haodian Ankawa Erbil Koysanjaq Armota Other Votes % 2005 2009
Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Popular Council 2,426 1,990 463 167 14 1,179 19 15 18 4,304 10,595 53.9 - 3
Assyrian Democratic Movement 3,703 362 173 170 28 930 40 6 12 266 5,690 28.3 2 2
Chaldean Democratic Union Party
Chaldean National Congress
281 30 32 55 365 1 936 1,700 8.6 1
Khaldu-Ashur Communist Party
Assyrian Patriotic Party
244 78 10 23 - 883 3 439 1,680 8.5 - -

The elected politicians:

  • Thair Abdalahad Ogostin (CSAPC)
  • Susan Yousif Khoshaba (CSAPC)
  • Amir Goga Yousif (CSAPC)
  • Salem Toma Kako (ADM)
  • Jihan Ismael Benyamin (ADM)

Iraqi parliamentary election, 2010

A parliamentary election was held on 7 March 2010. The parliament previously approved to increase the number of seats from 275 to 325, of which 5 seats were reserved for Assyrians. Going into the elections, four Christians were in the parliament: Yonadam Kanna (ADM), Fawzi Hariri (KDP,) Ablahad Afraim Sawa (CDUP,) and Wijdan Michael (Allawi list.)

The Assyrian Patriotic Party, Chaldean Democratic Forum, and the Bet Nahrain Democratic Party announced on November 15, that they would create an alliance.

Five major lists have been created for the election;

Three seats were won by the ADM and two seats by the CSAPC. The five elected into the parliament:

Iraqi Governorate Elections, 2013

A Governorate (or local) elections were held in Iraq on 20 April 2013, with Nineveh province along with Anbar voting on June 20, due to violence in the city caused by the Islamic State of Iraq. Elections didn't take place in the 3 governorates forming the Kurdistan Region.

As with the previous local elections, 2 seats were reserved for Assyrians, including one each in Baghdad, Nineveh and Basra. The Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Popular Council reclaimed their seats in Nineveh and Baghdad, by receiving 8,635 and 1,513 votes respectively.[7]

Iraqi Kurdistan Parliamentary election, 2013

The Iraqi Kurdistan region held elections to elect its 111-member Kurdistan National Assembly on 21 September 2013. Each Kurdish party listed 100 candidates while each Assyrian and Turkman party listed 5 candidates. There were 3 Assyrian lists running for the five reserved seats. Prior to the election, some ADM members decided to leave the party and run on their own list called Sons of Mesopotamia.


The elections resulted in the Popular Council losing one seat, while ADM retaining two seats and the new Mesopotamia List being given one seat.[8] Yaqoub Gorgis and Lina Azriya Bahram of the ADM were elected along with Seroud Salim Matti from the Mesopotamia List.[8] Within the Chaldean Syriac Assyrian United List, the Popular Council managed retain its 2 seats.

Votes % 2009 2013
Assyrian Democratic Movement 6,145 47.4 2 2
Chaldean Syriac Assyrian United List 5,730 44.2 3 2
Sons of Mesopotamia List 1,093 8.4 - 1
Total 12,968 100 5 5
Chaldean Syriac Assyrian United List individual votes:
Chaldean Syriac Assyrian United List
Name Party Votes
Wahida Yaqo Hirmiz Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Popular Council 2,517
Kamal Yalda Markoz Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Popular Council 1,466
Nina Louis Bet-Nahrain Democratic Party 507
Sargon Salim Assyrian Patriotic Party 400
Janan Jabbar Chaldean National Council 273

Other Assyrians ran in Kurdish parties, but non were able to get enough votes to win a seat in the parliament.[9][10] Many voters in Assyrian dominated Areas voted for these parties, including 3,377 votes for the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Ankawa alone.

Kurdistan Communist Party
Name votes Ranking in List
(out of 100)
Insaf Munif Yaqub 374
Abdulmasih Sleman Yalda 205
Victoria Yalda Gorgis 64
Bouya Markos Behnam 59
Nithal Walid Louis 58
Dalia Farid Noori 40
Talia Khamis Matti 21
Luay Jameel Sanati 15
Total 836
Kurdistan Democratic Party
Name votes Ranking in List
(out of 100)
Christof (Rebwar) Yalda 3,497
Sanna Yaqub 824
Total 4,321

See also


  1. ^ Iraqi Kurdistan Political Development and Emergent Democracy By Gareth R V Stansfield, Inc NetLibrary. page 201.
  2. ^ J. C. Michael, “The Chaldo-Assyrian Cause in Iraq: Implications for Maronites”, National Apostolate of Maronites Convention, Orlando, Florida, July 16, 2004
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c زهريرا نت
  5. ^ a b c [1]
  6. ^ النتائج النهائية لقوائم ابناء شعبنا في جميع المحافظات لأنتخابات مجلس النواب العراقي
  7. ^ [2][3]
  8. ^ a b,50336.html
  9. ^,50349.html
  10. ^,50350.html
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