May 30, 2008
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Kurdish Alliance rejects dividing Kirkuk into 4 constituencies
Voices of Iraq 

A Kurdish lawmaker on Monday rejected the proposal to divide Kirkuk into four constituencies, branding it as “unconstitutional.”

“The Kurdish Alliance bloc considers the proposal (of dividing Kirkuk into four constituencies) presented to the Parliament as categorically unconstitutional and unacceptable,” Saad al-Barazanji, Kurdish MP, told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq - (VOI).

“The proposal is in violation if the constitution as it will appoint a local government in Kirkuk through the proposed electoral percentages,” he noted.

Earlier, Mohamed Mahdi al-Bayati, Turcoman lawmaker from the Unified Iraqi Coalition (UIC) told VOI that more than 110 parliamentarians from different political blocs presented a proposal to the Parliament to divide Kirkuk into four constituencies.

The amendment envisages granting Kirkuk a special electoral system and dividing it into four constituencies; 32 percent for Kurds, Arabs and Turcomans, and 4 percent for the remaining population.

Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution is related to normalization in Kirkuk, an important and mixed city of Kurds, Turcomans, Christians, Arabs, and Assyrians.
Kurds seek to include the city in the autonomous Iraq's Kurdistan region, while Sunni Muslims, Turcomans, and Shiites oppose the incorporation. The article currently stipulates that all Arabs in Kirkuk be returned to their original locations in southern and central Iraqi areas, and formerly displaced residents returned to Kirkuk, 250 km northeast of Baghdad.

The article also calls for conducting a census to be followed by a referendum to allow the inhabitants to decide whether they would like Kirkuk to be annexed under the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan region, or have it as an independent province.

These stages were supposed to end on December 31, 2007, a deadline that was later extended to six months.


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