Iraqi parliament to discuss controversial Kirkuk elections law
The Iraqi parliament will hold a session
Tuesday to discuss a controversial provincial elections law passed in July,
parliament's deputy speaker said Monday, reported dpa.Kurds object to the
law which calls for a secret ballot to decide a power-sharing arrangement in
the multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk in northern Iraq. It was approved by parliament
even though Kurdish members walked out.
Kurdish parliament members denounced the measure as "unconstitutional" and promised to have the law rewritten. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, himself a Kurd, rejected the law in a presidential statement.
Kirkuk's one million population consists of Arabs, Kurds, and Turkmen. The Kurds, who have independence aspirations, seek to include the northern governorate in their autonomous region while the Arabs want to keep Kirkuk separate.
Kurds claim the population of Kirkuk is 48 per cent Kurds while Arabs claim it is 44 per cent Arabs. During the rule of dictator Saddam Hussein Kurds were expelled from Kirkuk and replaced by Arabs.
Kirkuk has 7.5 per cent of the world's oil reserves, according to a report by the Dubai-based news broadcaster al-Arabiya.