Iraqi official: No preparations for Kirkuk referendum

ANADOLU AGENCY
KIRKUK
Published

The head of the Kirkuk election commission said the central government in Baghdad has yet to make a decision about a referendum for the independence of the northern city of Kirkuk.

"No preparations have been made for the referendum as there were no instructions from Baghdad to do so," Qais Muhammad told Anadolu Agency (AA) yesterday. At a June 7 meeting with the Kurdish Parliament, Masoud Barzani, the president of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, announced that the region will hold an independence referendum on Sept. 25. During and after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, Kurdish peshmerga forces seized Kirkuk, prompting an influx of Kurds into the ethnically diverse city.

Kirkuk's population has historically been comprised mainly of Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds.

When Kirkuk's provincial council decided to hold a referendum on the disputed city's future in April, the council session was boycotted by Arab and Turkmen representatives

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