ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – On Tuesday, Iraqi lawmakers prevented Kurdish lawmakers in Baghdad from attending a Parliamentary session as punishment for their participation in the Kurdistan Region Sep. 25 referendum in the Kurdistan Region.
Some members of the Iraqi Shia coalition banned the Kurdish lawmakers from entering Parliament. The Kurdish MPs were told that they had lost their legitimacy following the Sep. 25 referendum, Kurdistan 24 Correspondent Awat Khairullah reported.
There were 175 lawmakers out of a total of 328 attending Tuesday's session.
Members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) did not return to Baghdad. Other Kurdish parties' lawmakers, such as the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Gorran (Change), the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), and the Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG), were all barred from attending Parliament.
Some of the Shia legislators have told the Kurdish members it would be best for them to return to the Kurdistan Region and stay clear of the Iraqi Parliament due to their support for independence on Sep. 25 vote, the Kurdistan 24 correspondent in Baghdad affirmed.
The Iraqi MPs claimed that allowing those who expressed support for the partitioning of Iraq enter Parliament would be akin to recognizing the results of the referendum.
The Iraqi Parliament is expected to unanimously issue declarations against the Kurdistan Region as none of the Kurdish lawmakers were allowed to join the session.
The Shia coalition collected 100 signatures asking the Iraqi Parliament’s leadership to prevent the Kurdish MPs from attending the session as a response to them publicly voting in favor of the “division of Iraq,” which they claim is a violation of the Constitution.
According to the Shia bloc, the Kurdish MPs should only be allowed to return to Parliament if they publicly renounce their vote and express regret for taking part in the referendum.
On Sep. 25, the people of the Kurdistan Region and the disputed territories participated in a referendum on independence, with 92.7 percent voting in favor of secession from Iraq.
Since then, the Iraqi Federal Government and parliament have taken harsh measures against the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, including a flight ban, as punishment for the vote.
Editing by G.H. Renaud