The United Arab Front in Kirkuk has expressed its support for the Iraqi parliament’s decision to freeze the work of the provincial councils, and called for the new governor of Kirkuk to be chosen directly.
"The Kirkuk provincial council has become a huge burden, and its work is tainted by many suspicions of corruption; therefore it had to be dissolved, and the parliament should lay out a feasible mechanism to select the governor," the United Arab Front said in a press conference on Wednesday, October 9, 2019.
The stance was adopted a day after the Iraqi parliament voted to freeze the work of the provincial councils, as part of measures to curb large-scale protests which escalated in different parts of the country over deteriorating economic conditions and state corruption.
In the session which was chaired by Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi and attended by 212 lawmakers, the parliament voted on recommendations of a parliamentary committee tasked with following protesters' demands, according to a statement by the parliament.
Meanwhile, the front called for holding a peaceful rally to press the Iraqi government and the parliament to fulfill the demands of protestors.
The United Arab Front reiterated its support to the security forces in the province of Kirkuk, and urged the Commission of Integrity to “investigate corruption dossiers and hold those involved accountable.”
Anti-government protesters in Baghdad and other Iraqi provinces have taken to the streets for more than a week.
The unrest has reportedly left at least 104 people dead and more than 4,000 others injured.
Wasfi Asi, leader of the United Arab Front expressed his support to protestors and stressed that their demands should be met as soon as possible.