Minority groups are protesting over the removal of Article 50 from the legislation, which would have enshrined an allocation of seats in parliament for minority groups. Article 50 had previously been included in the preliminary draft.

“The Iraqi Council of Representatives may enact an appendix to the provincial elections law to include Article 50 that was embraced by the preliminary draft, but then omitted from the version that was enacted by the parliament days ago,” says Abbass al-Bayati of the Shiite party, the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), speaking to the news agency Aswat al-Iraq.

“The law will not be approved by the Presidency Council because neither politicians nor the public accept the veto, but an appendix will be enacted after the Eid holiday to ensure minorities’ rights without any discrimination,” he adds. “The law in its current form does not prohibit minorities’ representation, but does not state that they should be represented.”

Since the law was passed, hundreds of Iraqi Christians have demonstrated in the northern province of Ninewa to protest at the removal of Article 50 and call for self-rule.