After six months of negotiations

Political agreement reached to convene Kirkuk Provincial Council after Eid al-Adha

KIRKUK – Political factions in the Kirkuk Provincial Council have agreed to hold a session immediately following the Eid al-Adha holiday to address the province’s political deadlock, announced Arshad Al-Salihi, head of the Turkmen Parliamentary Bloc, on Monday. The agreement was brokered by Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani.

“The political forces in Kirkuk recognize the province’s delicate situation and the urgent need to end the political deadlock,” Al-Salihi stated during an Eid al-Adha reception. He emphasized the need for quickly convening a council session to form a new local government.

Al-Salihi said a proposal to rotate senior positions among Kirkuk’s ethnic groups had a better chance of being agreed upon and implemented. This proposal aims to include all communities in the local government, fostering stability in the province.

Six months after the provincial council elections, Kirkuk remains without a new administration. Despite the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) winning five seats, no party has secured the nine seats needed to form a government, necessitating alliances that have yet to materialize.

Kirkuk, an ethnically-divided and resource-rich province, is part of Iraq’s “disputed territories.” According to Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution, a referendum was supposed to be held by the end of 2007 to decide whether the province should be administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government or the Iraqi federal government. Baghdad has yet to hold this referendum.