Leading Kurdish parties push to reactivate Parliament ahead of referendum
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The main Kurdish parties are likely to reactivate the Kurdistan Region's Parliament in the coming week as the historic independence referendum date nears.
The Kurdistan Region Parliament was indefinitely dissolved at the end of 2015 following the culmination of tensions between both the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Gorran (Change).
The reactivation of Parliament has been a hot topic since there are only 15 days left until the referendum. On Sep. 25, the people of the Kurdistan Region will vote on whether to remain part of Iraq or secede as a newly-independent country.
The reactivation of Parliament ahead of the referendum has been viewed by the people of the Kurdistan Region and outsiders as a crucial step to give more legitimacy and legal grounding to the self-determination vote.
Conditions prescribed by the parties at odds which each other have surfaced as one of the major obstacles in reactivating Parliament. Recently, however, the KDP dismissed all of its preconditions to accommodate Gorran and enable Parliament to resume.
Gorran and the Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG), who together hold 30 seats out of the total 111 seats in the assembly, are the only parties in the Region calling for the referendum to be postponed.
While other parties, such as the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU), are acting as mediators between the KDP and Gorran, Parliament is expected to reactive in the coming week, with or without the participation of Gorran and the KIG.
“It is our duty, all of us, to support the reactivation of Parliament as soon as possible to strengthen the referendum. Any delay is against our national interests,” Mahmoud Mohammed, the KDP spokesperson, told Kurdistan 24 on Sunday.
He mentioned that, although the exact date for Parliament to resume has not yet been set, it is likely to take place sooner rather than later, ahead of the referendum.
A member of PUK delegation told Kurdistan 24 Parliament would be reactivated on Sep. 15.
Hemin Hawrami, a senior assistant to President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani, stated on his Twitter account that the KDP and the PUK would be meeting on Sunday to discuss the reopening of Parliament “no later than 15/9.”
Editing by G.H. Renaud