Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) officials stressed that a candidate for the position of Kirkuk governor should be approved by both the KDP, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the Kurdish Brotherhood list in the Kirkuk provincial council as well as the diverse components of the province.
The assertion was declared following a meeting of PUK and KDP top officials at the PUK’s politburo office in Sulaimaniyah on Monday.
KDP leadership member Dilshad Shahab and member of the negotiating team, speaking at a press conference said, “Both sides agreed that a candidate for the post should be backed by the PUK, the KDP, the Kurdish Brotherhood list and all the communities in the province.”
The PUK has been insisting that the post of Kirkuk governor is a right they are entitled to.
Following the October 16, 2017 events and the return of Iraqi federal forces to all the territories disputed by Baghdad and Erbil, including Kirkuk, the PUK lost the position to Rakan al-Jibouri, a Sunni Arab.
The PUK’s efforts to reclaim the post have failed, mainly due to a of the KDP members continuing boycott of the Kirkuk provincial council meetings.
Dilshad Shahab emphasized that both parties “will work as one team to normalize the situation in Kirkuk and appoint a governor, which is a right of the Kurds”, indicating that “"the governor of Kirkuk should represent Kurds, Arabs, Turkmens and other communities.”
The KDP official stressed that there is “a good understanding between the federal government, the PUK and the KDP”, noting that the UN is also engaged in the efforts.
Last month the PUK officially submitted the names of five of its candidates for the post of governor to the KDP leadership in a step aimed to make the issue of the governor part of a compromise with the KDP as PM-designate Masrour Barzani of the KDP is engaged in the efforts to form a new Kurdish cabinet.
“We all should speed up the efforts to form new Kurdistan regional government cabinet and appoint a new governor for Kirkuk,” PUK spokesman Latif Sheikh Omer said at the news conference.
In addition to the Kurds, other communities, including the Arabs and the Turkmens demand to hold the position of Kirkuk governor.
The Kirkuk provincial council is comprised of 41 seats. The Kurdish Brotherhood List holds he majority of seats on the council (26 members).