ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region's top government and party officials held a meeting with Iraqi President Barham Salih to discuss the latest developments in Iraq, where ongoing violent protests have brought political turmoil and general unrest to the country.
The topic of discussion was amendments to the Iraqi Constitution, a political source told Kurdistan 24. Salih, along with the Kurdistan Region's top three officials and the leaders of different political parties in the region, attended the meeting.
Before this, President Salih held a joint meeting with President Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, and Parliament Speaker Rewaz Fayaq to review the current situation in Iraq as leading political forces make moves toward amending the national constitution in efforts to calm flaring protests across central and southern provinces.
As the idea of amending the national constitution gained traction, Kurdish leaders stated that the issues Iraq is currently experiencing were not due to the content of the founding document, but rather failing to implement its articles. President Barzani has also rejected any efforts that would affect the governing system of the country.
On Tuesday, an Iraqi source told Kurdistan 24 that a committee tasked with overseeing possible constitutional amendments held its first meeting amid continued pressure building up as a result of the protests.
Changes to the constitution, including a change of government, is part of a package of demands by protesters who accuse the political elite of widespread corruption and failing to improve the state of the country 16 years after the fall of the former regime.
Upwards of 250 people have been killed and thousands injured since clashes broke out between them and security forces, who have killed dozens by directly firing tear gas canisters and live rounds at civilians.
Senior Iraqi politicians have reportedly agreed to a “roadmap” to resolve the current crisis and meet the demands of the demonstrators. The proposed roadmap reputedly includes changing the prime minister’s administrative and military team, a cabinet reshuffle of about a dozen ministers, as well as changing electoral laws and electoral commission members.
According to informed sources, the proposed roadmap does not include early elections or the resignation of Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.
It is not clear whether initiating the implementation of this initiative would calm protests, which have been calling for the ouster of the entire political class and the Iraqi government.
Editing by Nadia Riva