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Kirkuk governor refuses to pull down Kurdish flag

April 2, 2017 at 11:28 pm

Kirkuk governor Najmuddin Karim refused on Sunday to apply the decision by the Iraqi parliament to pull down the flag of the northern Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on the city’s public buildings and institutions, the Istanbul-based Anadolu Agency reported today.

Karim’s announcement came in support to the decision by the Kirkuk Provincial Council on Saturday dismissing the parliament’s decision.

“The decision taken in the Iraqi Parliament is not legal; it is a hasty decision,” Karim said in a statement on Sunday, adding “we have no obligation to implement this decision.”

“The political future of Kirkuk cannot be determined by raising or lowering the flag. Raising the flag doesn’t mean the city is now a part of Kurdistan,” the governor pointed out.

He stressed that the province would not abide by the Iraqi Parliament’s decision to remove the Kurdistan flag from state buildings. “We will not abide by the decision,” he said, explaining “according to the constitution of Iraq, the parliament cannot impose such a decision on us.”

The governor also mentioned that he has agreed with the Kurdish MPs to appeal the parliament’s decision.

We are sure that in a just court, the decision will favor our side as it is a constitutional move.

The Iraqi parliament voted on Saturday in favour of a decision to take down the KRG flag and flying only the Iraqi flag on Kirkuk’s buildings. The session was boycotted by the Kurdish lawmakers.

Last week, 26 Kurdish members of Kirkuk’s provincial assembly voted in favour of raising the KRG flag alongside Iraq’s national flag outside the city’s public buildings and institutions.

Kirkuk is considered one of the disputed territories between the federal government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).