ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) - Iraq's parliament voted to hold provincial elections in Kirkuk for the first time in 13 years, after representatives from all ethnic and religious groups in the oil-rich city agreed to the decision, including Kurds, Turkmen, and Arabs.
In a press conference held in Baghdad's parliament building, several officials from different communities in Kirkuk announced that they all agreed it was time that elections were finally held there. On Tuesday, the Council of Ministers decided to hold provincial elections on Dec. 22.
Though national parliamentary elections have taken place in Kirkuk, this would be the city's first local elections since 2005. This has been caused largely by the inability of local officials from different ethnicities to agree on a mechanism for holding.
Kirkuk is an ethnically-diverse province consists of Turkmen, Arabs, Christians, and Kurds who make up the majority of the population.
It is one of the disputed regions between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the federal government of Iraq.
Editing by John J. Catherine