The Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) of Iraq has excluded the Kirkuk Governorate from Iraqi provincial elections, which will be held next year. This is the third time Kirkuk has been barred from provincial elections in Iraq. According to the IHEC, the decision is related to political issues in the city. Following the decision, Kirkuk Governor Najmadin Karim said during a press conference on Tuesday (August 9) that authorities would not allow election centers to be open for displaced people in the governorate. “The IHEC says electoral cards and election centers will be open for displaced people to vote for their representatives in Anbar, Nineveh, Diyala and Tikrit,” Karim said. “I want to inform residents of Kirkuk that no one will vote in Kirkuk in [the elections of] any other governorates if the people of Kirkuk are not allowed to participate in the elections.
Arab and Turkmen blocs in the Kirkuk Provincial Council are still determined to record statistics in the governorate, saying the rate of Kurds has increased since 2003.
Turkmen member of Kirkuk the Provincial Council, Najat Hussein, told NRT that they favor the election but statistics should be researched to find out who qualifies as a resident of Kirkuk.