The Turkmen Eli party claims that they current local administration in Kirkuk “is untransparent and has failed,” and demand the replacement of the current governor with a Turkmen acting governor until the next provincial elections is held.
The call for the election of a Turkmen as the new governor was made in a press conference held yesterday, May 27, in which it also called for involvments of Turkmen in potential appointments for the local directorates and offices by the federal government.
Taimur Abdul-Aziz, a member of the leadership council of the party, told KirkukNow reporter in the press conference that, “we believe that the terms of those positons held by acting directors have expired, and the governorship has to be given a Turkmen until the next election is held.”
The provincial councils have been dissolved since late last year and a date for the next provincial elections is yet to be set.
“We will not compromise on our rights, and we would have taken to the street had not the decisions of the crisis cell to contain the coronavirus been made.”
Rakan al-Jabouri has become the acting governor of Kirkuk at the order of the former prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, since the withdrawal of the Kurdish forces in the disputed areas on October 16, 2017, dismissing former governor, Najmadin Karim.
Since then, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) has called and tried to once more regain the governorship, but such efforts have not succeeded. The PUK and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), after months of negotiations, reached a deal and nominated a Kurdish candidate for Kirkuk governorship. However, the deal was rejected by the Arab and the Turkmen parties of the city.
Abdul-Aziz accused the current administration of the city that “it has not succeeded in administrating the city and keeping a balance between the ethnic groups... the administration is not transparent, and a number authorities have been charged with corruption case by the integrity commission.”
The Turkmen leader claimed that, “since the emergence of the former Baathist regime, they have been victims… and from 2003 to 2017, the Kurds shared the administrative positions based on their interest and [from 2017 until now] the Arabs are appointed to our positions.”
Kirkuk governorship, as a disputed area, had been determined in accordance with a project proposed by the late PUK leader and former Iraqi president Jalal Talabani from 2003, allocating 32 percent of the administrative positions of the city to each Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen ethnic group as well as allocating the other four percent to the Christians of the city. However, the implementation of such project has been disputed.
The leader of the party in the press conference also called upon Mustafa al-Kadhimi, the new Iraqi prime minister, to involve them in the council of the ministers and the other governmental positions.