Shafaq News/ A Kurdish official remonstrated the attempts to prevent the Kurds from engaging the political and partisan life in the disputed territories by parties exercising "political and national antagonization of parties toward the Kurds".
The Iraqi constitution's article 140 stipulated a December 31, 2007 deadline for a referendum -- at the end of a process that includes "normalization," shorthand for reversing the effects of Saddam's policy to drive Kurds out of a string of northern cities and replace them with Arabs.
"Normalisation" involves paying compensation to Arab settlers who moved in within Saddam Hussein's Arabisation policy of the 1970s and 1980s, when thousands of Kurds and Turkmen were expelled from disputed territories to be replaced by Arabs.
A constitutional timetable also provided for a census to be completed before proceeding with the referendum, but everything has been on halt due to political disagreements.
A decree by the Supreme Federal Court in 2019 ratified the applicability of the aforementioned article of the constitution until fulfilling its requirements and attain the goal of its legislation.
However, despite obtaining the official approvals from the Federal Government and Diyala's Government to "hand the partisan headquarters back to the Kurds", according to the Khanaqin Organizations media official of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Ibrahim Hasan, "some parties preclude it in the sub-districts of Saadiya, Jalawla, Qara Tapa, Mandali, and Jbara."
Hasan told Shafaq News Agency, "the population of that territory is Kurdish. They have the right to communicate with their representatives and prepare for the upcoming elections."
"There is a clear contradiction," he said, "refusing the political presence of the Kurds in the disputed territories despite the huge security cooperation between the Peshmerga, security forces, and al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Forces-PMF) in the vicinity of Khanaqin and Diyala-Kurdistan borders."
"How come the Kurdish parties are allowed to have headquarters in Baghdad at a time they are not allowed to have headquarters in Diyala?" he asked, "their determination to refuse the Kurdish partisan presence in Diyala is a violation of the political freedom and rights guaranteed in the constitution."
"Political cooperation, coordination, and convergence, away from the abominable nationalist points of view and the electoral goals that do not meet the aspirations of the people of Diyala, are imperative for the highest interest of the country."
In the aftermath of the military offensive carried out by the federal forces following the Independence referendum in 2017, the Kurdish parties were forced to withdraw from their headquarters in Diyala, Kirkuk, and Saladin. However, this step backfired due to the security void left after the retreat of the Peshmerga forces into the depth of the Kurdistan Region.