The acting governor of Kirkuk, invited the elected members of Kirkuk Provincial Council to hold the council’s first meeting on Thursday, February 1st.
The invitation came in accordance with the Provincial Council Elections Law, which stipulates that the first session must be held within 15 days from the date of ratification of the final results of the elections, and it also comes a day after the council members took the legal oath before the judge.
The first session will be chaired by the oldest member of the Council, Parvin Fateh from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan PUK bloc.
In the first session of the Provincial Council, the President of the Council and his deputy must be elected by a majority of the Council’s votes (50 + 1), meaning that the winner must obtain the votes of nine members of the provincial council.
However, there is no legal paragraph explaining how long the Council can leave its session open if the two positions are not determined in the first session.
All procedures related to the council were organized in accordance with the Law of Governorates not Organized in a Region No. 21 of 2008, which specified the characteristics and powers of the provincial council with seventeen points in Article (7).
In addition to electing the governor and his two deputies, the mayors of districts and sub-districts, the council can decide the candidates for the positions of general directors and other senior positions before the Council of Ministers votes on them, and the council can also, based on a number of terms and conditions, withdraw confidence from senior administrative positions in Kirkuk.
The northern, oil rich-city of Kirkuk, is home to about 1.7 million Kurds, Turkmens and Arabs, according to the Erbil-based Kurdistan Regional Government KRG figures in 2018. Located 238 kilometers north of Baghdad, Kirkuk is an ethnically mixed province and has long been at the center of disputes between the federal government in Baghdad and the KRG.
The highest legislative and supervisory authority within the boundaries of the governorate administration shall be with the Council, which has the right to issue internal laws and instructions for managing the affairs of the governorate, formulate the general policy of the governorate, discuss and approve the governorate’s budget and project plans.
A member of the Provincial Council receives a monthly salary of 2.3 million Iraqi dinars IQD (USD1,500), in addition to about 600,000 IQD for fuel and transportation expenses, and about 100,000 IQD for internet services and cell phone recharge cards for each member, according to previous follow-up by (KirkukNow).
The term of the Council is set at four years from the date of its first session.
According to Article 7 of the Governorates Law, the Council must elect the governor and his two deputies within (30) days of the first session, and if none of the candidates obtains an absolute majority of the number of Council members, competition takes place between the candidates who obtain the highest votes and the one who obtains a majority votes in the second ballot is elected.
In last December Iraqi provincial council elections, the Kurds won seven seats of Kirkuk provincial council, six for the Arabs, the Turkmen got two seats, in addition to the quota seat for the Christians.