For the first time since 2005 Iraq’s provincial elections will occur after the parliamentary ones. The latter are scheduled for May 12, while voting for the governorates will take place on December 22. The bill on the balloting had been held up for months over whether Kirkuk would be allowed to participate. An agreement was finally made between the major groups in the province, Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen and Christians. The United Nations Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) helped facilitate the deal, which was then voted on and passed on March 3.
Kirkuk has not taken part in any such election since 2005 due to the differences between the factions. Its government has been in turmoil since Baghdad took control in October 2017. The Governor Najmaldin Karim fled to Kurdistan when that occurred. Since then the ethnosectarian groups have been deadlocked on dividing up posts. It’s unclear if they have the political will to resolve that dilemma. Now there is a date set when those positions can be filled permanently.
eKurd, “Iraq to hold provincial elections in December: Council of ministers,” 3/1/18
Al Mada, “UNAMI’s effort have led to the satisfaction of the factions of Kirkuk and the wording of the provincial election law,” 3/4/18
Mohammed, Shalaw, “No Negotiations: Kirkuk Trapped In Political Limbo, Thanks To Obstinate Politicians,” Niqash, 1/25/18
Rudaw, “Baghdad gives Kirkuk parties 1 month to divide posts,” 2/15/18
- “Kirkuk politics in a stalemate as Kurds claim another Arabization,” 1/30/18
- “Kirkuk to hold elections with other provinces, first time in 13 years,” 3/3/18
Sotaliraq, “Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen agree on a mechanism on local elections in Kirkuk,” 3/3/18