ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Cemil Bayik, co-leader of the Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK) on Tuesday talked about the Kurdistan independence referendum scheduled to be held on Sep. 25, reaffirming it is a democratic practice.
The KCK is an organization founded in 2005 by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) aiming to implement "Democratic Confederalism," the jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan's vision of self-rule.
The referendum planned for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq “is the result of internal and external issues,” Bayik, a top PKK leader, stated during an interview with the News Channel television.
On June 7, following a meeting with Kurdish parties in Erbil, President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani declared Sept 25. 2017 the date for the independence referendum, asking people to participate in the event and have a say in their future.
“The referendum is a democratic right, and no one should stand against it,” Bayik added.
The PKK senior leader also mentioned that holding a referendum during times of social distress might not lead to success.
The head of the Independent High Electoral and Referendum Commission (IHERC) Handren Mohammed on Monday told Kurdistan24 there are six million people who are eligible to vote in the Kurdistan Region, including in the disputed territories.
Kurdish officials have cautioned that the “Yes” vote in the referendum does not mean the Kurdistan Region will become an independent state immediately.
Editing by G.H. Renaud