Kurdistan Electoral Commission: Nearly six million people eligible to vote in Kurdistan independence referendum

Electoral Commission: Nearly six million people eligible to vote in Kurdistan independence referendum
A Kurdish man shows his ink-stained finger after voting during regional parliamentary elections at a polling station in Erbil (Photo: Reuters/Azad Lashkari).

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Kurdistan Region’s Independent High Electoral and Referendum Commission (IHERC) responded to the Iraqi government’s spokesperson who said only people from the Kurdistan Region would participate in the independence referendum.

In a statement on Sunday, Iraqi government spokesperson Saad al-Adithi said the future of Iraq is not a unilateral decision, and everyone in Iraq should have a say in determining the country’s future.

Handren Mohammed Salih, Head of the IHERC, said only people from the Kurdistan Region and disputed areas outside of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) administration above 18-years-old are eligible to vote in the independence referendum scheduled to be held on Sep. 25, 2017.

Salih added nearly six million people across the Region, and disputed areas will be able to vote in the referendum.

“Since there are a large number of Kurds in the diaspora, preparations will be made to allow them to have their say,” Salih said.

During a meeting with Kurdistan’s political parties, the President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani said Iraq was “still full of constitutional violations of the most important components of federalism.”

According to a statement by the Kurdistan Region Presidency, the violations included a “lack of revenue sharing, undecided borders, denying Kurdistan’s budget share, not implementing Article 140, and not creating the Federal Council.”

“Abiding by the constitution will keep the unity and sovereignty of Iraq; otherwise, violating the constitution will tear the country apart,” President Barzani declared.

Shirwan Zirar, a spokesperson for the IHERC, told Kurdistan24 the Commission had already begun preparations for the independence referendum.

“The Commission has already received USD $6 million from the Kurdistan Region Presidency as an initial budget for organizing the referendum,” he informed.

 

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany

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