Arab member of Kirkuk provincial council: Position of Kirkuk governor does not belong to a specific group

Arab member of Kirkuk provincial council: Position of Kirkuk governor does not belong to a specific group
Kirkuk- A press conference for Khalil al-Hadidi, member of the Arab faction in the Kirkuk provincial council, June 10, 2019  Photo: karwan Salehi

Karwan Salehi- Kirkuk

A member of the Arab faction in the Kirkuk provincial council emphasizes that the position of Kirkuk governor does not belong to any specific group, indicating that there are many personalities in the province who can assume the post, and stressing that the issue should be dealt with internally.

Khalil Ibrahim al-Hadidi made the remarks at a press conference on Monday June 10th at the Kirkuk governorate’s office which was attended by KirkukNow correspondent.

“During these days, we have been hearing via the media names of candidates for the post who are all of a specific ethnicity as if Kirkuk does not have a say and that the issue should be handled externally”, al-Hadidi told the news conference.

“Let everyone know that the position of Kirkuk governor does not belong to a specific group; Kirkuk is home to many figures and decision makers from all ethnicities, and the provincial council has the legal and constitutional right to elect a governor.”

Kirkuk provincial council has the legal and constitutional right to elect a governor

Al-Hadidi emphasized that the appointment of a governor should be according a concrete agreement among the diverse components of the province. “We want a governor who can serve all the different ethnic groups, not a particular person or ethnicity”, he added.

In regard to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK)’s insistence on reclaiming the post, he said, “This entitlement dates back to 14 years ago. So many things change in politics during 14 years. Now we have an acting governor who serves all the components indiscriminately; however a fair provincial election needs to be held in Kirkuk.”

The Arab member of the Kirkuk provincial council reiterated that the Arab faction is “ready to forge an agreement with any group on condition that it believes that Kirkuk is a place for peaceful coexistence.”

The PUK in its latest politburo meeting on June 6 submitted a final list of five candidates for the post of governor to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) leadership.

The PUK wants one of its candidates elected as governor in parallel to the efforts to form the new cabinet in the Kurdistan Region.

Rakan Saeed al-Jiburi, an Arab, has assumed the post of Kirkuk acting governor since October 16, 2017 after the dismissal of former governor Najmaddin Karim. The PUK has since been engaged in intensive efforts to regain the post.

In addition to the PUK, the Turkmen front has also demanded that the position should go to Turkmens; meanwhile, the Arab component has not yet expressed readiness to relinquish the post.

 

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