Iraq: eleven Christians elected to new government

 Eleven Christian candidates won seats in Iraq's recent elections. Fides News Service reports that six Christians were elected members of the national parliament and five in the Kurdish bloc. The Christian MPs, elected in northern Iraq, belong to three or four political groups plus one independent group. An Iraqi priest in Mozul, Father Nizar Semaan said: "We are happy with the outcome of the election. This is a turning point in the history of Iraq." He said: "As Iraqi Christian now we hope for a new constitution, secular and democratic which respects religious freedom of all Iraqis and guarantees full freedom for all citizens. A secular nation is the best way to guarantee freedom." "In this area I think we need help from the international community to draft a new constitution which respects democracy and tolerance which could serve as an example for rest of the Middle East." Fr Nizar said: "people are beginning to savour the taste of democracy. Now political parties must learn to work together to form a new government with that healthy battle between majority and opposition typical of democratic societies. I hope that Iraq has seen the end of the dark years of tyranny of the former regime. There is no place for despots and dictators in our country today. "It is hoped the new political and social forces elected to govern Iraq in the future will not waste the opportunity offered to the people of Iraq to demonstrate their capacity to build a new democratic Iraq to serve as a beacon of light for the other countries in our region. "This is the time to work for national unity. This process must involve everyone, including those who did not vote. We must look to the future and give hope to the new generations." Source: Fides

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