ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – On Monday, the Federal Supreme Court of Iraq ordered the Sep. 25 referendum on independence for the Kurdistan Region be suspended.
“The Federal Supreme Court has issued the order to suspend organizing the referendum set for September 25… until it examines the complaints it has received over this plebiscite being unconstitutional,” the Court statement reads.
The court’s decision comes after they “reviewed requests to stop the referendum,” according to the Court's declaration.
Ayas al-Samouk, the spokesperson for the Federal Supreme Court, told local news outlets that the court had received several complaints and therefore decided to suspend the referendum until further notice.
In a separate statement, Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi acknowledged that the Court's decision came in response to a request addressed to the latter “on the unconstitutionality of the separation of any region or province of Iraq.”
Kurdistan Region officials have not made any comments on the court’s judgment. They have long insisted on holding the vote on the scheduled date and recently rejected the Iraqi Parliament’s labeling of the referendum as “illegal.”
On Friday, the Kurdistan Region's Parliament held a special session and approved the Sep. 25 referendum, a few days after the Iraqi Parliament voted against it. The Kurdish MPs in Baghdad boycotted the vote.
Despite mounting pressure from Baghdad, neighboring countries and the US-led western camp, Kurdish officials have given no sign they intend to postpone or cancel the referendum. Independence for the Kurdistan Region has been the long-awaited dream of almost every Kurd around the world.
“The peaceful and democratic referendum of the Kurdistan Region does not violate the international law… The people of the Kurdistan Region have the right to decide on their future,” The President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani has previously said.
Barzani has stated that the ‘Yes’ vote would immediately grant statehood to the Kurdistan Region, but would rather set in motion serious discussions between Baghdad and Erbil regarding self-governance.
Editing by G.H. Renaud