PUK lowers Kurdistan Region flag at most of its Kirkuk offices

January 11, 2019 at 2:55 pm

Kirkuk- Kurdistan Region flag raised alongside the Iraqi and PUK flags on a PUK headquarter in Kirkuk, Jan 9, 2019 Photo: Soran Muhammad

KirkukNow

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) organizational center in Kirkuk has decided to lower the Kurdistan Region’s flag at the majority of its offices in the province, while it said in a statement that it will keep the flag raised on both the organizational center and the PUK politburo’s headquarters, arguing that it is a “legal and constitutional right”, giving that Kirkuk is a disputed territory as defined by the constitution and “there is no impediment to raising the Kurdistan region in these territories.”

Leading PUK officials told (KirkukNow) they have agreed to lower the flag until the federal court issues a final decision.

Late on Tuesday, January 8th, 2019, the PUK hoisted the Kurdish flag on all its offices in the multi-ethnic city, which sparked the outrage of the Arab and Turkmen components.

Kirkuk acting governor called on Iraqi PM Adil Abdul-Mahdi to send military reinforcements to the city. Meanwhile, the Turkmen Front warned of the consequences of such a move.

The Shiite Badr Organization also called on PUK leaders to “discuss the issue with the other components of Kirkuk before it is too late.”

On January 9th, Iraqi PM Adil Abdul-Mahdi ordered the lowering of the Kurdistan Region flag in the party headquarters saying it was against the constitution and stressing that “the best way is to ask the federal court about the constitutionality of this step.”

the step is aimed to preserve social peace in Kirkuk 

A PUK senior member, speaking to (KirkukNow) on condition of anonymity, said “The PUK organizational center in Kirkuk has decided to lower the flag at its Kirkuk offices except for the organizational center and the politburo headquarters until the federal court issues a final decision.”

The official emphasized that “this step is aimed to preserve social peace in Kirkuk and prevent other groups from creating a political and social crisis at the expense of the Kurds and the PUK.”

Meanwhile, Fakhraddin Muhammad, head of the PUK organizational center’s relations bureau in Kirkuk said, “the decision to lower the flag at most of our offices and keep it flying on the politburo and the organizational center’s buildings was according to an agreement between the party leaderships and the relevant departments until a final decision is made by the federal court in Baghdad.”

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