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WikiLeaks: 2007-08-20: 07BAGHDAD2781: PRT Kirkuk: KDP Mayor Resigns, Un-resigns, Attacks Own Party

by WikiLeaks. 07BAGHDAD2781: August 20, 2007.

Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 05:54 PM UT


Viewing cable 07BAGHDAD2781, PRT KIRKUK: KDP MAYOR RESIGNS, UN-RESIGNS, ATTACKS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07BAGHDAD2781 2007-08-20 11:43 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN Embassy Baghdad
VZCZCXRO4621
RR RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #2781/01 2321143
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 201143Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2885
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002781 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
SENSITIVE 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/18/2017 
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM IZ
SUBJECT: PRT KIRKUK: KDP MAYOR RESIGNS, UN-RESIGNS, ATTACKS 
OWN PARTY 
 
Classified By: Kirkuk PRT Team Leader Howard Keegan for reason 1.4 (b) 
and(d). 
 
 1.  (C) SUMMARY.  Following a mass-casualty VBIED attack in 
Kirkuk city, its KDP mayor resigned, even though he had 
little authority over security.  He later withdrew his 
resignation and remains a KDP member, but harshly criticized 
the KDP's local leadership and plans to start a competing 
political movement.  His remarks reflect widespread dislike 
for the KDP among the "original people of Kirkuk." END 
SUMMARY. 
 
2.  (U) One day after the July 16 multiple-VBIED attack in 
Kirkuk that killed more than 80 and wounded more than 180, 
Kirkuk city Mayor Ihsan Majid Gilly (Kurdistan Democratic 
Party, KDP), resigned, complaining of "chaos" in the city and 
the impossibility of protecting it.  To PRT officers, Ihsan 
complained that he had had been rendered powerless because 
the mayor's position and powers are poorly defined and said 
that he had had several differences of opinion with the 
Governor over his authority.  He recognized that he was not 
directly responsible for the city's security, but was 
frustrated with his inability to do anything about it, and 
felt strongly that, as a government official, he must resign 
if he could not meet the people,s expectations. 
 
3.  (C) The senior KDP member in the Kirkuk Provincial 
Council (PC) told PRT officers that the KDP had not opposed 
the resignation and had asked the Governor to accept it.  He 
added that the KDP planned to retain the mayor,s post, but 
had not yet decided on a candidate. 
 
------------------------- 
A MAYOR WITHOUT AUTHORITY 
------------------------- 
 
4.  (SBU) After the collapse of a late 2005 power-sharing 
deal among Kirkuk's PC blocs to divide top-level Provincial 
positions (which also led to the current boycott of PC 
meetings by most of its Arab and Turkman members), the 
Governor and PC appointed Ihsan to the mayor's position. 
However, he spent most of his tenure in Sweden, where his 
wife and children reside, returning to Kirkuk in early 2007. 
His absence went generally unnoticed: The Provincial 
government oversees police and municipal services in Kirkuk 
city, and the city lacks a municipal council because its 
selection is one of the issues bound up in the ongoing 
Arab-Turkman PC boycott. 
 
5.  (C) Since returning, Ihsan has occupied a symbolic 
position without real power.  His attempts to assert his 
authority (e.g., in leading a crackdown on illegal building) 
were unsuccessful and mocked even by fellow KDP members. 
Ihsan conceded to PRT officers that he was "not a good 
administrator" but "a friend to the people," willing to 
listen to any group.  He is well-regarded by Kirkuk,s Arab, 
Turkman, and Chaldo-Assyrian communities, who respect his 
family,s prominence and his personal moderation. 
 
------------------------ 
KURDISH PARTIES AT FAULT 
------------------------ 
 
6.  (C) Ihsan told the PRT that the "original people of 
Kirkuk," including many Kurds, are extremely dissatisfied 
with the management of Kirkuk and blame the KDP and Patriotic 
Union of Kurdistan (PUK), which have dominated Kirkuk,s 
politics and administration since 2003.  Saying that Kirkuk's 
ethnic communities were used to living together without 
problems, he thought that the "dictatorial" style of the 
Kurdish parties was driving the communities apart and that no 
solution to Kirkuk,s problems, including security, could be 
achieved without harmony between them.  He said that he had 
tried to develop this harmony during his tenure as mayor, 
when members of all of Kirkuk,s communities were frequent 
visitors to his office; however, his fellow KDP members had 
criticized him for "running a cafe" and told him to "turn 
them out."  He added that representatives from Kirkuk's Arab, 
Turkman, and Chaldo-Assyrian communities had asked him not to 
resign. 
 
----------------- 
A SURPRISE ENDING 
----------------- 
 
7.  (C) By July 29, the Governor still had not accepted 
Ihsan's resignation, and Ihsan technically remained mayor. 
Ihsan told the PRT that KDP President Masood Barzani's 
personal representative Qadir Aziz had asked him not to 
resign, and Ihsan asked the PRT's opinion.  After confirming 
Ihsan's willingness to yield his position if necessary to 
 
BAGHDAD 00002781  002 OF 002 
 
 
solve the Arab-Turkman PC boycott, the PRT urged him to keep 
it for the present to prevent the KDP from replacing him with 
a hard-liner.  On August 6, Ihsan confirmed that he would not 
resign.  He offered his help to organize a new movement of 
"the original people of Kirkuk" to complete with the existing 
political parties and sought PRT advice and support for his 
efforts. 
 
8.  (C) At the same time, Ihsan backed away from his previous 
blanket condemnation of the Kurdish parties, but stepped up 
his criticism of the local KDP.  According to Ihsan, Masood 
sincerely wants the best for Kirkuk; however, there are 
"others" between Masood and Kirkuk who mislead him about the 
situation here.  Ihsan specifically criticized the local KDP 
leadership as "outsiders" with "small minds" who run the 
local KDP organization "like an intelligence apparatus." 
 
------------------------------- 
COMMENT: KDP PROBLEMS IN KIRKUK 
------------------------------- 
 
9.  (C) As the highest-ranking Provincial government member 
in the KDP, the KDP would not have permitted Ihsan to resign 
without permission, and his remarks to the PRT clearly 
indicate a falling-out with the local KDP organization. 
Ihsan comes from the prominent and well-respected Gilly tribe 
of Kirkuk.  His extended family is allied with the KDP, and 
its eldest brother, Latif, is KDP Chief Masood Barzani's 
personal representative in Kirkuk.  (Cousin Tanya Gilly, 
however, is a PUK member of Iraq's Council of 
Representatives.)  However, the Gillys are much more moderate 
than the local KDP leadership and have a bad relationship 
with Kirkuk KDP Center Chief Najat Hassan, a hard-line Masood 
loyalist.  When Ihsan offered his resignation, Najat, seeing 
an opportunity to replace Ihsan with someone more loyal, 
would not have opposed it. 
 
10.  (C) Given his position, Ihsan's blunt criticism of the 
local KDP leadership and desire to start a competing 
political movement suggest that the KDP's problems in Kirkuk 
are more than an internal feud.   Kirkuk is traditionally PUK 
turf, and, despite aggressive efforts, the KDP still lags in 
supporters and influence.  The KDP has tried to gain "market 
share" by a variety of methods, including topping up the 
salaries of government employees, putting unemployed 
supporters on the KRG payroll as half-pay "ghost employees," 
and paying for good-works infrastructure projects.  Still, 
Ihsan's feelings about the local KDP leadership are widely 
shared among the "original people of Kirkuk" (as they call 
themselves, with disdain for recent arrivals).  While 
frustrated with both Kurdish parties, they particularly 
dislike the KDP (and its ruling Barzani family) for what they 
see as its tribal structure and ideological rigidity. 
CROCKER

 



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