PUK accuses KDP of supporting Kirkuk governor to remain

Acting governor of Kirkuk, Rakan al-Jabouri and logo of Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

SULAIMANI (ESTA) – The leadership of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) in Kirkuk accused the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of “supporting” the acting governor of Kirkuk Rakan al-Jaburi to remain in his position.

The Kirkuk-Salahadin leadership of PUK issued a statement on Wednesday (February 28), expressing opposition to a decision that Jabouri will remain in his post and his winning of parliamentary seat will be granted to a candidate affiliated to the Arabic bloc in the Iraqi parliament.

“We are aware of this conspiracy which is going on according to a plot and plan. This is meant to have Rakan al-Jabouri remain in his position, and this will encourage the Arabization of Kirkuk,” the statement read.

The PUK leadership said the position of Kirkuk governor belongs to the Kurds, and that it will remain firm along with the other sides to retain it. “PUK will never give up on it.”

“No side has the right to be a part of this conspiracy against the people of Kirkuk and make agreement for Rakan al-Jabouri to remain in his position,” it added.

Kurdish officials and mainly the PUK have repeatedly accused Rakan al-Jabouri of inhabiting Arabs into Kirkuk province where Kurds would form a clear majority.

The federal government retook control of the disputed areas claimed by both Baghdad and Erbil from the Kurdish forces in October 2017 in the wake of the independence referendum. Since then, security has been run by the Iraqi forces and Hashid al-Shaabi and Rakan al-Jabouri has become Kirkuk governor.

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