Referendum committee yet to be formed, Kurdistan Presidency says

Referendum committee yet to be formed, Kurdistan Presidency says
4 years ago

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SULAIMANI – The Kurdistan Region Presidency (KRP) announced on Tuesday (May 23) that Kurdish political parties are yet to appoint their representatives for a referendum set to be held this year on the issue of independence of the Kurdistan Region.

A spokesman for the KRP, Umed Sabah, said that the current ambition of the region’s presidency ahead of the anticipated referendum was to maintain “national unity” between the people and political parties.

The region then needs to prepare the steps needed to ensure the central government recognizes what the people in the region want and then negotiations between Erbil and Baghdad need to take place, said Sabah.

Baghdad wants to sort out issues related to a referendum and relations between Erbil and Baghdad through negotiations, he added.

A decision on whether the referendum should include the disputed areas must be made by those area’s elected bodies and administrations, the KRP spokesman continued.

Senior Kurdish officials have made calls for an independence referendum in the region to gauge people’s attitude on such a move, despite the number of crises currently affecting the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Earlier this month Kurdish parties announced a plan to hold a referendum on independence this year.

Kurds said the expected "yes" outcome would strengthen their hand in talks on self-determination with Baghdad, and would not automatically mean declaring independence.

Earlier in April, Masoud Barzani’s media adviser said a referendum to decide on the fate of the Kurdistan Region would be held this fall.