Kurds waiting 100 years for “suitable time” to hold referendum: Politician

A Kurdish politician on Sunday said there is no right time to hold the independence referendum as Kurds have been waiting for 100 years.

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – While some countries oppose the timing of the Kurdistan Region independence referendum, a Kurdish politician on Sunday said there is no right timing as Kurds have been waiting for 100 years.

“[Kurds] have been waiting 100 years for a suitable time,” said Fazil Mirani, the head of Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) politburo.

The KDP is the largest Kurdish party in Kurdistan leading the campaign for the independence referendum scheduled for Sep. 25, 2017.

“When is a suitable time?” The politician asked during a conference in Erbil.

Since the President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani announced the date of the referendum a month ago, many countries, including the US and the Federal Government of Iraq, commented on its timing.

“In their views, there is no suitable time because they don’t support freedom of nations and their rights,” Mirani added, responding to those who criticize the scheduling of the referendum.

In a recent interview with Kurdistan 24, the Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC) Masrour Barzani said the timing of the event is suitable and even overdue.

“We believe [September] is the most appropriate time because we look at what interests our people and what the party can accomplish,” Chancellor Barzani explained.

“Other countries don't like the timing because they are concerned about what benefits them, not us,” he continued.

In another part of his speech, Mirani addressed the post-2003 Iraq, stating the country appeared to be a democratic and sovereign state according to the Constitution, but this did not reflect reality.

“Just because there are elections in the country it doesn’t mean the state is democratic. There are also elections in dictatorship countries,” he said, emphasizing elections are only one aspect of democracy.

“[Iraq’s] borders and skies are open for anyone who wants to cross,” Mirani said. “This country has no sovereignty.”

“Hezbollah comes from Lebanon, The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from Iran, Turkish troops from the north, and the US and France have always been present [in Iraq],” he continued.

Senior Kurdish officials have repeatedly stated there is no turning back on holding the independence referendum.

They’ve also reiterated the people of the Kurdistan Region have the right to peacefully and democratically decide their destiny.


Editing by Karzan Sulaivany