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 Iraq's President can be summoned by Parliament if he violated constitution, Kurdish MP says

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Iraq's President can be summoned by Parliament if he violated constitution, Kurdish MP says  13.3.2011  

March 13, 2011

BAGHDAD, — The Legislature from the Kurdistan Coalition, Mahmoud Othman, has said on Sunday that the Iraqi President could be “summoned” by the Parliament if he had violated the Constitution, saying that President Jalal Talabani’s statement about Kirkuk “wasn’t a violation of the Constitution.”

“President Jalal Talabani can be summoned by the Parliament if he violated the Constitution,” Othman told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, saying “that when Talabani said that Kirkuk was the ‘heart of Kurdistan,’ he expressed his viewpoint, being the chairman of a party..So, there is no need to gather signatures to summon him by the Parliament.”

The Legislature for al-Iraqiya Coalition, Wihda al-Jumeily, had said on Saturday that a number of Parliament members had began collecting signatures to summon President Jalal Talabani by the Parliament, in the background of his statement that described Kirkuk as “Kurdistan’s Jerusalem.”                   

Iraqi Kurdish MP, Mahmoud Othman, says Talabani can an be summoned by Parliament if he violated constitution.
Othman, on his part, said: “the statement of the President towards Kirkuk had been entirely natural, as firstly, he was speaking in a festival of his party, being the Chairman of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the party that had always described Kirkuk as the “Jerusalem of the Kurds.”

“Even the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), repeats that Kirkuk is the “Heart of the Kurds,” Othman said, adding that “each party has its own mottos, being natural issues and not constitutional violations.”

President Jalal Talabani had said in a speech on the occasion of the anniversary of the Kurdish 1991 uprising in Sulaimaniyah city against Iraq’s former ruling Baath regime,
www.ekurd.netthat Kirkuk was the “Jerusalem of Kurdistan,” calling on the Kurds to conclude a strategic Kurdish-Turkoman Coalition, to liberate the city from what he described as “terrorists and neo-occupiers.”

The oil-rich province of Kirkuk is one of the most disputed areas by the Kurdistan regional government and the Iraqi government in Baghdad.

The Kurds are seeking to integrate the province into the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region clamming it to be historically a Kurdish city, it lies just south border of the Kurdistan autonomous region, the population is a mix of majority Kurds and minority of Arabs, Christians and Turkmen, lies 250 km northeast of Baghdad.
Kurds have a strong cultural and emotional attachment to Kirkuk, which they call "the Kurdish Jerusalem." Kurds see it as the rightful and perfect capital of an autonomous Kurdistan state.

Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution is related to the normalization of the situation in Kirkuk city and other disputed areas through having back its Kurdish inhabitants and repatriating the Arabs relocated in the city during the former regime’s time to their original provinces in central and southern Iraq.

The article also calls for conducting a census to be followed by a referendum to let the inhabitants decide whether they would like Kirkuk to be annexed to the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan region or having it as an independent province.

The former regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had forced over 250,000 Kurdish residents to give up their homes to Arabs in the 1970s, to "Arabize" the city and the region's oil industry.

The last ethnic-breakdown census in Iraq was conducted in 1957, well before Saddam began his program to move Arabs to Kirkuk. That count showed 178,000 Kurds, 48,000 Turkomen, 43,000 Arabs and 10,000 Assyrian-Chaldean Christians living in the city. 

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