KDP and PUK to meet to resolve the Kirkuk file

KDP and PUK to meet to resolve the Kirkuk file

Shafaq News / On Wednesday, member of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Pola Talabani unveiled plans for an upcoming meeting with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) to settle the Kirkuk governorate file.

Talabani stated that "discussions are underway to resolve the matter of Kirkuk's leadership positions swiftly. This issue must be addressed promptly to facilitate the election of a new local government and governor, allowing the administration to deliver essential services to its citizens, particularly since the current governor has failed to meet the people's needs."

Talabani emphasized that "while the PUK remains open to all parties, it leans towards negotiations with the Kurdish house, especially the KDP. There is a convergence of views between the parties, and a dedicated meeting will soon be convened to settle the Kirkuk issue definitively."

Moreover, Talabani asserted that "the position of Kirkuk governor is a Kurdish entitlement for the PUK, given their substantial electoral gains. However, a decision will be reached through consensus with all stakeholders."

Regarding the parliamentary elections in Kurdistan, Talabani confirmed that "the matter is contingent upon a decision by the Federal Supreme Court. Following this, the Kurdish president will schedule a new election date."

In a pivotal meeting held at the beginning of February, the two leading parties in Kurdistan agreed that the new governor of Kirkuk must be of Kurdish origin.

The results of the local elections in Kirkuk saw the list "Kirkuk Our Strength and Will" affiliated with the PUK win five seats, while the KDP secured two.

The Arab Alliance in Kirkuk won three seats, the Unified Turkmen Front won two seats, the Leadership Alliance won two seats, and the Arab Bloc won one seat. Additionally, Emile Boutros Constantin Ibrahim Agha won a Christian quota seat.

Kirkuk remains a disputed territory between Erbil and Baghdad, subject to Article 140 of the Constitution. It was previously under joint administration between the Kurdistan Region and the Iraqi government until the Kurdistan's independence referendum in September 2017.

It is noteworthy that Article 140 is a provision that sets out a three-stage process for resolving the status of the disputed territories. The deadline for implementing Article 140 has passed but has not yet been implemented due to political disagreements and security concerns.

It mandates the reversal of demographic policies imposed by Saddam Hussein's regime, which favored Arabs over Kurds in disputed areas, followed by a population census before conducting a referendum to determine whether the inhabitants wish to join the Kurdistan Region or remain under Baghdad's administration.

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