PUK pressure pushes PM to order removal of designated mayor of Daquq, says lawmaker

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Prime Minister on Wednesday ordered the removal of the designated mayor of the disputed Daquq district in Kirkuk following a Kurdish strike, said a lawmaker. 

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) faction in the Iraqi council of representatives went on strike against the designation of an Arab as mayor of Daquq, according to Kurdish lawmaker Dilan Ghafour.

Ghafour told Esta Media Network that Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sadani has given the order to remove the mayor.

Sudani’s decision came after the PUK’s pressure, Ghafour said, adding that he dismissed the decision to designate an Arab as mayor.

The mayor was designated by Rakan Jburi, the incumbent governor of the disputed Kirkuk province, according to Ghafour’s words.

“Imposed Kirkuk governor had designated the mayor but against the law,” the lawmaker said.

“The governor violated the power-sharing balance between the components in the designation of the mayor, meanwhile, the position is the Kurdish share,” the lawmaker added.

The Kurdish lawmaker further stated that they are “strongly” against that decision, urging the Iraqi parliament and prime minister to intervene.

Several PUK lawmakers in Kirkuk have decided to set up a sit-in inside daquq’s town hall building until the decision will be taken into effect to remove the designated Arab mayor, the lawmaker said.

Kirkuk lies in an oil-rich and ethnically mixed part of Iraq. Control over the province has been contested by Kurdish and Iraqi authorities.

Kurdish forces used to control the Province when the Iraqi army fled during the Islamic State offensive back in 2014. However, the Iraqi forces retook the city in the wake of the Kurdish referendum for independence in 2017.

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