Kurdish MPs ask to remove Baghdad-appoint Kirkuk Governor over abuses of power
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdish MPs from Kirkuk say they have submitted a request to the Iraqi Parliament to remove the acting Governor, Rakan Saeed, from his role for overreaching his administrative authority.
The MPs, based in Baghdad, also received a request by the Kirkuk Provincial Council (KPC) signed by two-thirds of its members to demand the removal of Saeed for “exceeding his powers, issuing ethnic-based orders, and adopting an ethnic agenda aimed at revenge.”
In his latest statement, Saeed vowed his administration would “preserve federally-owned land.” For Ala Talabani, a Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Member of Parliament in Baghdad, however, measures taken the Baghdad-appointed Governor are part of the Federal Government of Iraq’s collective punishments.
Talabani told reporters on Monday that Saeed was attempting to seize lands in the disputed province and hand them over to the central government, notably in areas where impoverished families, mostly Kurds and Turkmen, were relocated after the fall of the regime. She argued it was not within the Governor’s purview to evict people and a clear excess of his powers.
“These arbitrary decisions are unacceptable. For this reason, we request, in accordance with the law, the dismissal of the [acting Governor],” the signed submission circulating on social media reads, accompanied by the KPC members request.
Six Kurdish Iraqi Parliament members from Kirkuk signed the document, and two-thirds of the 41-member Provincial Council put forward the request. The Brotherhood bloc holds a majority of the seats, with 26 members including Kurds, Christians, Turkmen, and Arabs. Fourteen of them are currently out of the province they represent.
Following the Oct. 16 attack, where Iraqi Forces and Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militias took over the disputed province of Kirkuk, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi appointed Rakan Saeed to replace Najmaldin Karim who was forced to leave the city out of fear for his life.
Baghdad dismissed the Kurdish Governor after he supported the Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum and the participation of his province of Kirkuk in the vote.
Kirkuk is an oil-rich province located in the south of the Kurdistan Region and north of Iraq. It is a multi-ethnic province with a diverse religious background made up of Kurds, Turkmen, Arabs, and Christians. Kurds account for the majority of the population.