The Kurdish flag being raised in Kirkuk last week. Photo: Rudaw video
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The acting head of Kirkuk Provincial Council said that they refuse to commit to the decision passed by the Iraqi parliament on Saturday condemning the raising of Kurdish flag in the city.
“It is impossible for Kurdistan’s flag to be lowered again,” said Rebwar Talabani.
“This decision is not going to be implemented in Kirkuk. The federal court has decided that decisions made by the parliament will not go into effect. Hence, it will not be implemented in the province of Kirkuk. I therefore give good news to all the social makeup of the city of Kirkuk that executive decisions will not be implemented in cities that make decisions themselves.”
The Iraqi parliament voted on Saturday to repeal a decision by the Kirkuk Provincial Council last week to raise the Kurdistan flag over state buildings in the city. Arez Abdullah, a Kurdish member of the parliament said that almost all the Iraqi MPs except for the Kurds voted in favor of a motion which rejects the Tuesday’s vote by the local government in Kirkuk to raise the flag over the state institutions.
Talabani argued that Kirkuk is authorized under the constitution to make their own decisions.
“The decision made by Kirkuk’s provincial council was based on Articles 115 and 140 of the constitution. According to Article 115, regions and provinces are entitled to make decisions about things which do not fall within the authority of the federal government. Kirkuk is mentioned as a disputed area between the Kurdistan Region and the federal government in Article 140. They are both entitled to raise their flags. Hence, we haven’t exercised any unconstitutional or illegal powers. Out of the 328 MPs of the Iraqi parliament, 107 have voted for the decision,” Talabani reasoned.
“The decision which was made by the Iraqi parliament today is against all the principles of political agreements. It is unfortunate for the speaker of the parliament, who couldn’t balance the decision impartially today and listen to the opinions of other parties.”
“I thank Kurdish factions who were a very beautiful symbol today to all the people of Kurdistan, to their unity on questions which are not subject to negotiation and are paramount to the Kurdish nation as a whole,” Talabani continued.
“Because 107 MPs have voted out of the 328 MPs, we ask the Iraqi president not to sign the decision.”