KIRKUK, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) - On Tuesday, the Kirkuk Provincial Council (KPC) held a session and with a majority vote, elected to participate in the upcoming referendum on independence for Kurdistan scheduled for Sep. 25.
Out of 41 members in total, 26 of them attended the session. Two members abstained, and 24 voted in favor of joining the referendum.
Besides Kurds were Christians and Turkmen who were among those calling for the province to take part in the Kurdistan Region's referendum. The Turkmen Front and the Arab Council representatives boycotted the session.
The head of the KPC, Rebwar Talabani, mentioned they had previously sent a letter to the federal government of Iraq requesting they hold a referendum in the Kirkuk Province, as granted by Article 140 of the Constitution of Iraq, but that Baghdad responded it was unable to hold the vote for the time being.
According to the article in the constitution, the referendum in Kirkuk should have taken place by 2007 the latest, for the people of the province to decide on their future. Ten years have passed since then, and the referendum has yet to be held.
Kirkuk is an oil-rich province located in the south of the Kurdistan Region and north of Iraq.
Although Kurds make up a majority of the population, Kirkuk is a diverse area made up of different ethnic and religious groups including Turkmen, Arabs, and Christians.
The province is also one of the disputed territories between the federal government of Iraq and the KRG.
Editing by G.H. Renaud