ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The largest Kurdish faction in the Iraqi Parliament will boycott the sessions in response to Baghdad’s growing list of sanctions on the Kurdistan Region and the decision to remove the Kirkuk Governor from his post, a Kurdish lawmaker said on Tuesday.
Renas Jano, the spokesperson of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in a press conference on Tuesday said that the Kurdish bloc had boycotted all the Iraqi Parliament's sessions following the aftermath of the Sep. 25 independence referendum.
Jano stated that the KDP’s boycott is related to two main concerns.
“The first reason is Baghdad’s reaction and action taken against the Kurdistan Region, which has no basis in Iraqi laws and articles of the Constitution,” he said.
“The second reason behind our boycott is the decision to dismiss Kirkuk Governor Najmaldin Karim from his post.”
The KDP alone has 25 seats in the Iraqi Parliament.
Following the referendum, Baghdad imposed a set of sanctions on the Kurdistan Region, including a flight ban, and requested neighboring countries shut their borders to the Region in retaliation to the vote.
On Monday, the central government released a new set of sanctions, notably restoring federal authority over the disputed territories currently under the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) administration, prosecuting state employees who participated in the referendum and asking the telecommunication companies to move their headquarters from Erbil to Baghdad.
“We were expecting Baghdad to move ahead with dialogue to resolve issues, but now they are imposing sanctions, one batch after another,” Jano continued. “As long as they continue to treat the Kurdistan Region this way, we will not return to Baghdad.”
Kurdish officials have repeatedly called on Baghdad to agree to a peaceful dialogue and negotiations to settle disputes between the two parties. Baghdad, however, has demanded the referendum's results be nullified as a condition to initiate a discussion.
Editing by G.H. Renaud