Iraq's Kirkuk Provincial Council Calls Referendum on Kurdish Governance
The Kirkuk Provincial Council in northern Iraq decided Tuesday to hold a referendum on governance by Iraqi Kurdistan despite opposition from Arab and Turkmen members, Turkey's Daily Sabah newspaper reported.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The decision was announced at a press briefing by Council's chair Rebwar Talabani, who said the Iraqi government had been informed about this move.
Kirkuk is a majority Kurdish-populated region that was given a disputed area status by Iraq's constitution drafted with US help after its 2003 invasion. The province was to hold a self-determination vote by 2007 but a political crisis in Baghdad derailed this plan.
Non-Kurdish members of the Council boycotted Tuesday's session, the Turkish daily said. Kurds hold 26 seats on the Council, whereas Turkmens have nine and Arabs have six.
The ruling comes after the Iraqi parliament prohibited Kirkuk authorities last week to hoist the Kurdistan flag alongside the Iraqi flag in official institutions. Baghdad also banned oil exports from the oil-rich province, arguing proceeds from sales of its resources belonged to all people of Iraq.
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