Abdulaziz Alawi al-Issawi is an academic and researcher specializing in electoral affairs

Countries grant quotas to social groups that they believe will not get what suits their weight and history in elections, to ensure proportional representation of social components in power.
Some countries grant quotas to minorities, others grant them to women, and in other countries, they are granted to groups that have weak chances in elections, such as people with special needs.
The Iraqi components that are less numerous than the others received a number of seats within the so-called quota, which granted minorities (9) seats that are not included in the framework of the general competition in the elections, but are being contested by candidates representing these minorities.
The mechanisms for electing minority candidates differed in the electoral processes witnessed in the era between 2005 and 2021, and today the debate is raging over the electoral districts in which minorities have the right to compete. Some of them want it at the level of Iraq, while others believe that this right is limited to specific provinces, where there is a weight for minorities, which is what the third amendment to the provincial council elections law, and the House of Representatives, which sparked a wide debate between representatives of minorities and some political forces.
First: minorities and elections
Arab societies were meeting places of nationalities, ethnicities, and cultures. This resulted in a mixture that generated a single cultural framework that distinguished those societies that seemed to lack diversity, as a result of this mixing, which was affected over time by political, social, and economic changes, it led to different priorities of these societies according to their different orientations, as they differ sometimes because of religion, and other times because of sect or tribe, and other reasons that generated narrow affiliations that grew over time, to generate categories, some of which were classified as the majority, versus other categories that have come to be described as minorities.
This was accompanied by a clear weakness in the institutional work of a number of Arab countries, whose political systems suffered from weakness, which as a result led to the presence of dominant social groups, and others struggling to obtain their rights, which generates a conflict between the groups of society, which is divided into parties trying to impose influence by taking shelter with the components and employing the numerical majority at the expense of other less numerous components.
In this case, these countries should strengthen their measures to ensure the rights of minorities by developing their electoral system, to be able to provide an effective contribution to minorities in public life to prevail in the spirit of brotherhood and cooperation between the components of society, as minorities cannot enter into long-term conflicts with the dominant forces, as well as elections represent a democratic means, to involve various components in the management of power without entering into clashes that reduce the value of democratic methods of reform and change.
Second: minorities and electoral laws in Iraq
The Iraqi constitution guarantees minorities the right to candidacy and political representation because they are Iraqis who are equal with other citizens in rights, whether in the House of Representatives or in the provincial councils, as Article (20) of the Constitution states: “citizens, men, and women, have the right to participate in public affairs and enjoy political rights, including the right to vote, elect, and nominate.
Article (49) of the first paragraph also paves the way for minorities to assert that the House of Representatives consists of a number of members at a rate of one seat per one hundred thousand people from Iraq representing the entire Iraqi people, elected by direct secret universal suffrage, and the representation of other components of the people in it is taken into account.
The emphasis was placed on taking into account the representation of other components of the minority quota, which was a guarantee for the presence of most components in the legislative authority after the Christians felt concerned after they obtained one seat in the Governing Council, which consists of (25) members, distributed on the basis of consensus among the main Iraqi components.