Iraqi parliament rejects Iraqi Kurdish referendum: lawmakers

13 September, 2017, 10:32 | Author: Lula Armstrong
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Baghdad, Irbil - Signs of a confrontation between Baghdad and Irbil are starting to emerge ahead of the September 25 independence referendum vote in the Iraqi Kurdistan region after the Iraqi parliament rejected the vote on Tuesday and forced the government to take measures against the Kurdish move.

Kurdish lawmaker Majid Shingali said Kurds would reject the decision.

"The referendum will be held on time".

The Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) on Tuesday boycotted a meeting held in Kirkuk between Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani and ethnic and religious groups based in the city. Al-Abadi said the referendum does not have the support of the central government, so it is invalid.

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The Kurdish parties on Tuesday expressed their regret for the Iraqi parliament's decision to reject the independence referendum of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region slated for September 25.

The non-binding referendum will see residents of northern Iraq's Kurdish region controlled by KRG to vote on whether or not to declare formal independence from Baghdad.

The KRG has said it is up to local councils of disputed regions in northern Iraq to decide whether to join the vote.

"Kirkuk needs more stability, not tension", he added.

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Iraqi and Kurdish peshmerga forces have played a key role in battling the Islamic State group (IS) which captured swathes of the country in 2014, and the fight has borne fruit in recent months.

The referendum on whether to secede from Iraq is planned to be held in the three governorates that make up the Kurdish region and in the areas that are disputed by the Kurdish and Iraqi governments but are now under Kurdish military control. "I called on the Kurdish leadership to come to Baghdad and talk", stated Al-Abadi.

Kurds have pushed for their own state since the conclusion of WWI, when Kurdish-populated areas were split between modern-day Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria as boundaries across the Middle East were redrawn.

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