ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has endorsed a candidate from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) as the new governor of Halabja province.
On Monday, the KRG approved the candidacy of Azad Tofiq, the former member of the PUK’s Media Office, as governor of Halabja.
In a statement, Tofiq said KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani signed a motion endorsing him as the new governor, replacing Ali Osman who was the province’s acting governor.
The newly-appointed official added that he would officially begin his duties next week after the KRG’s Minister of Interior makes the final endorsement.
On March 13, 2014, the KRG Council of Ministers signed a parliament decision to turn the district of Halabja into a province. Moreover, on the anniversary of the Halabja chemical attack, Masoud Barzani, then-President of the Kurdistan Region, signed the decision into law, turning the city into the Kurdistan Region’s fourth governorate.
In August 2018, Iraqi Interior Minister Qassim al-Araji agreed to open several federal directorates including for citizenship, civil status, residence, information cards, border protection brigades, and issuance of vehicle registration plates for Halabja province.
According to a power-sharing agreement between the Gorran Movement and the PUK in Sulaimani and Halabja, following the Provincial Council Elections in Sulaimani, the parties exchanged posts in both provinces.
In August, Haval Abubakir, from the Change Movement, was appointed as the new governor of Sulaimani. He replaced PUK’s Aso Faraidoon, and Osman, from the PUK, was named as new acting governor of Halabja.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany