ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – In a majority vote on Tuesday, the Iraqi Parliament rejected the Kurdistan Region’s upcoming independence referendum amid a boycott from Kurdish MPs.
One hundred and seventy-three of the 203 MPs present in the Iraqi Parliament voted to reject the Kurdistan Region’s decision to hold an independence referendum on Sep. 25.
According to the approved decision, the Iraqi Parliament requests the Federal Government of Iraq to take all necessary measures to prevent the Kurds from holding a referendum.
Meanwhile, the 61 Kurdish MPs of all five major political parties from the Kurdistan Region boycotted the session while 31 Iraqi MPs restrained from voting.
Hoshyar Zebari, a senior adviser to the Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani, said the Kurdistan Parliament “will definitely have a response to the resolution when it convenes on Thursday.”
Zebari added the Iraqi Parliament’s vote was non-binding with regards to the independence referendum, according to Reuters.
Jamal Kocher, a Kurdish MP in Baghdad, told Kurdistan 24 the Parliament’s decision had no legal value.
Kocher explained that as the current Iraqi Parliament’s term was about to end, some political factions in Iraq are attempting to use the anti-referendum vote as propaganda before elections next year.
Another Kurdish MP, Rebwar Taha, speaking to Kurdistan 24 from Baghdad, said the Kurdish MPs in the Iraqi Parliament were not surprised to see such a reaction from their Arab colleagues.
Taha revealed that all five Kurdish blocs were united during the vote and boycotted the session.
He said they would hold a meeting to consider the measures to be taken against the vote, which may include boycotting future parliament sessions.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany