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Kurdistan Flag Row Goes to Federal Supreme Court

Kurdistan Flag Row Goes to Federal Supreme Court

Wednesday, 16 January, 2019 - 11:00
Kurds celebrating in Erbil, Iraq September 22, 2017.(File Photo: Reuters)
Kirkuk - Asharq Al-Awsat
A number of Kurdish members of Iraqi parliament representing Kirkuk province filed a complaint with the Federal Supreme Court in Baghdad, against governor of Kirkuk and MP Rakan Saeed al-Jabouri, following his objection to hoist Kurdistan region’s flag over the headquarters of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

A PUK MP Rebwar Taha explained that the complaint contains two parts: the first against Jabouri, as he instructed the security forces to use force to take Kurdistan flag down from the party’s headquarters, and the second is related to the interpretation of the constitutional and legal provisions of areas constitutionally named “disputed areas”.

Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution calls for the normalization of areas it refers to as disputed, to be followed by a referendum on whether or not those regions want to be part of the Kurdistan Region.

“The responsibility placed upon the executive branch of the Iraqi Transitional Government stipulated in Article 58 of the Transitional Administrative Law shall extend and continue to the executive authority elected in accordance with this Constitution, provided that it accomplishes completely (normalization and census and concludes with a referendum in Kirkuk and other disputed territories to determine the will of their citizens)," Article 140 reads.

Taha told Asharq Al-Awsat that the flags of Kurdistan will remain hoisted over PUK’s offices and headquarters until the Federal Court gives its verdict.

He asserted that the party believes and respects the judicial authority which “we hope will be legal and constitutional, especially that Kirkuk is one of the most important disputed areas.”

PUK MP Bestoon Adil, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Kurdish flags were raised in Kirkuk before ISIS entered the region, and the Federal authorities in Kirkuk did not object at the time, confirming that the matter is legal and constitutional, but “some officials are politicizing the issue to achieve certain goals.”

“We discussed the matter in details with the Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who preferred to refer the case to the Federal Court,” he indicated.

He pointed out that all Kurdish parliamentary blocs support this demand, but the complaint was only submitted by PUK.

The MP reported that several complaints, backed by Kurdish MPs, had been filed by Kurdish residents in Kurdish areas against decisions taken by the governor.

Asharq Al-Awsat tried to reach Kirkuk governor for a response, but he did not take our repeated calls.

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