Two senior leaders of an Arab party in Kirkuk resign and declare a new umbrella for Arab figures in Kirkuk following the general election of October 10th where the Arabs won four seats while the Kurdish political parties earned the six seats they had in 2018.
First vice president of the Unified Arab Front UAF Nadhim al-Shimmari and the second vice president and spokesperson Mohammed al-Riyashi have resigned on October 20th and launched a new umbrella called (Arab Opinion Commission).
“We have resigned because we will be busy with the commission which will be a gathering for all Academics, social key figures of Arab tribes in Kirkuk,” Shimmari told KirkukNow.
We have resigned because we will be busy with the commission which will be a gathering for all Academics, social key figures of Arab tribes in Kirkuk
The umbrella will work alongside all Arab parties and coalitions in Kirkuk and all over Iraq “in order to unify the Arab component,” he added.
Shimmari said they have supported Muhaimin al-Hamdani who earned a seat in Kirkuk’s first constituency for 14,358 votes.
Located 238 kilometers north of Baghdad, the oil-rich province of Kirkuk is an ethnically mixed province for 1.6 million Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmen, Muslims, Christians and Kaka'is. It has long been at the center of disputes between Baghdad and the Erbil.
The Kurds had an upper hand in Kirkuk up to 2017 when Iraqi security forces declared victory over the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria ISIS and took over power in the disputed territories including Kirkuk.
The acting governor, Rakan al-Jibouri, an Arab, replaced the Kurdish governor back in 2017 and still in office.
Currently, Iraqi army, local and federal police, Brigade 61 of Special Forces along with Shiite paramilitary of Popular Mobilization Forces PMF, are under Kirkuk joint operations’ command, an umbrella for the security forces running the security of Kirkuk province.
The UAF which failed to win any seats in the general elections was founded in 2019 by a number of Arab tribes and led by Wasfi al-Assi, head of Al-Oubaid, one of the leading Arab tribes in Kirkuk, to compete the Arab council led by current acting governor who won a seat in the general elections to become an MP for the next four years.
Back in 2019, the UAF called on Iraqi PM to dismiss al-Jibouri accused of nepotism and corruption. UAF has not commented on the resignation of two of its leaders yet.