Kirkuk interim governor, Rakan Saeed, issued orders to dismiss two district commissioners and another subdistrict commissioner from their positions on "legal basis." The three officials were appointed on the Kurdistan Democratic Party's (KDP) share of government positions, but have not been to work since 16 October 2017, as they have been residing in Erbil ever since.
Rakan Saeed, through his advisors, sent us an official letter attached to some legal documents
Kamil Salaiye, commissioner of Kirkuk Centre District and one of the sacked officials, told KirkukNow: "Through his advisors, Rakan Saeed sent us an official letter attached to some legal documents, in which he referred to our dismissal under the pretext of our absence from work."
The other two officials are Abdualla Nuri, commissioner of Dibis District, and Luqman Saleem, commissioner of Sargaran subdistrict.
The three officials left Kirkuk after the events of 16 October 2017, and now reside in Erbil, "due to the security situation in Kirkuk and them being targeted," according to them.
Their hiatus was being officially renewed with the approval of Rakan Saeed every year or every few months.
Salaiye said: “Rakan Saeed took the decision after he notified us about going back to work.”
We will not accept this decision and we will appeal against it in the courts
"We will not accept this decision and we will appeal against it in the courts, because we could not practice our duties as Kirkuk is under unique conditions and we are not able to return."
He added: “I have renewed my hiatus several times and my current one is valid until September.”
After the return of the Iraqi forces to Kirkuk and other disputed areas on 16 October 2017 and the withdrawal of the Peshmerga forces from those areas, the KDP instructed officials on its share of positions to leave Kirkuk. And consequently, in Kirkuk the KDP boycotted in the parliamentary elections that took place in May 2018.
A year after the events of 16 October, Kamel Salaiye returned for the first time to Kirkuk and stayed for two days in order to extend his hiatus.
He told KirkukNow at the time: “I have come back to Kirkuk to renew my hiatus permission, but I don’t know if they give it or not.”
According to a statistic from KDP’s Kirkuk-Garmiyan branch, 30 government officials affiliated with the party, holding positions of commissioners and high security positions have not been to work since the events of 16 October.
One of those is Mahdi Kaka’i, the former head of Kirkuk’s Agriculture Department, who was also sacked.
Sherzad Kaka was also among the officials who had fled Kirkuk, but he had returned after one year and resumed his work.