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Middle East

Iraq MPs vote against Kurdish independence referendum

Tuesday 12/September/2017 - 11:59 AM
Sada El Balad
Edited by: Nada Moustafa
The Iraqi parliament voted on Tuesday to oppose an independence referendum planned by Iraqi Kurdish leaders for later this month prompting a walkout by Kurdish lawmakers.

Speaker Salim al-Juburi، a Sunni Arab، said the vote required the government to "take all steps to protect the unity of Iraq and open a serious dialogue" with Iraqi Kurdish leaders.

A Kurdish leading figure on Monday said that the Kurdish parliament will hold its first session on Thursday after two years of disruption، even if some Kurdish parties boycott the session.

In an interview with Xinhua، the former foreign and finance minister Hoshyar Zebari said "we have agreed in the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) that next Thursday، Sept. 14، will witness the first session of the regional Kurdistan parliament."

"We would like that all parliamentary parties to participate in this important event، but if some parties insisted not to attend the session، the parliament will hold its session with majority of lawmakers، in order that this legal institution to be exist before going to the referendum،" said Zebari، who is also a leading figure in KDP headed by President Masoud Barzani.

"We (KDP) made all needed concessions and removed all the preconditions in order to activate this legislative institution، and the ball now is in the court of others (regional parties) to give us the answer in time for the resumption of parliamentary sessions،" Zebari said، referring to the Kurdish Goran parliamentary bloc which has disputes with the two major Kurdish parties: KDP and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

The Kurdish parliament was completely disrupted two years ago as a result of political differences between the KDP and Goran Movement، the largest opposition party in the region، which one of its leaders، Yusuf Mohammad Sadiq، was the speaker of the Kurdish parliament.

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