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Iraq excludes referrence to ethnicity within census

BAGHDAD, Oct 18 (KUNA) -- Iraqi government said here Monday that it does not intend to mention the ethnic origins of citizens during upcoming census next December.
A terse statement made by the Iraqi Ministry of Planning quoted Minister Ali Baban, whose ministry is supervising the census, as making the previous remark.
Baban said that "the Ministry of Planning intends to scrape a question on ethnicity in the upcoming census," without referring to more details on the decision.
However, political disagreements on the ethnicity caused the postponement of census many times in what pushed the Iraqi government to decide its start from October 23 till December 5, though its preparations completed long time ago.
The Ministry of Planning backtracked on setting the religious sect among the questions of census, while it decided keeping the question on the religion's appellation unchanged.
Further, northern Iraqi cities of Kirkuk and Nineveh see political disagreements between Kurds on one side and Arabs and Turkmen on the other side as every party claims forming the majority of population in both cities.
Kurds calls for annexing Kirkuk governorate as well as some towns of Nineveh governorate to Kurdish autonomous region due to their dominant Kurdish population, according to their statement, though this matter is denied by both Arabs and Turkmen.
Iraq undergoes severe political crises due to the postponement of census for many times, particularly as its parliamentary system sets a number of seats for each governorate based on the number of population, while state budget allocates a particular quota to Kurdistan based on its population, though in both cases Iraq relies on approximate statistics. (end) ahh.aff KUNA 182144 Oct 10NNNN