GMT 2-13-2009 1:33:37Assyrian International News Agency
North Iraq (AINA) -- The Yezidi Movement for Reform and Progress, an independent entity in Iraq, won the one quota seat reserved in the Nineveh province for the Yezidi minority. The win has infuriated Kurdish leaders who were taken by surprise by the strong Yezidi opposition to Kurdish dominance.
Kurdish political groups have invested heavily over the past years in the Kurdification of the Yezidis (AINA 12-1-2008) by different methods as well as presenting them to the outside world as Kurds, amounting to an attempt to eradicate an ancient indigenous community with roots in ancient Mesopotamian civilization.
The surprising win of the independent Yezidi Movement for Reform and Progress in Nineveh province is seen as a rebuke of Kurdish aggression.
Commenting for AINA, Qanat Hammo, one of the founders of the Yezidi Movement for Reform and Progress, said "Despite all the oppression and coercion of the Kurds our people were able to fight back using the ballot box. We want them to leave us alone, we are not Kurds and they need to respect this fact." Yezidis are erroneously described as Kurds for political reasons, an identity to which they object. They make up the majority in the Sinjar area west of Mosul and in the Shekhan district in the Nineveh Plain.
Observers maintain the independent Yezidis won the seat because the Kurds were taken off guard.
"The Kurds thought they had the Yezidis in their pockets, so they put all their efforts on the Assyrians instead," said Qanat Hammo, "going to great length to make sure the Assyrian seat would be won by the Kurdish backed Ishtar slate, but they were really taken by surprise."
The Kurdish backed Ishtar slate won the Assyrian quota seat in the Nineveh province amidst many allegations of illegal campaign methods (AINA 2-12-2009, 2-10-2009).available as: html