Barzani plans presidential, parliamentary votes on Nov 1
Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region is calling presidential and parliamentary elections for Nov. 1, the Arbil-based Rudaw TV said on Oct. 3, as the Kurdish leadership cements its case for independence.
A referendum held on Sept. 25 in the country’s Kurdish-held northern regions delivered an overwhelming “yes” for independence despite opposition from Baghdad and neighboring countries, including Turkey and Iran, as well as western countries.
The elections would be calculated to reinforce the legitimacy of the leadership ahead of a drive for outright independence and any negotiations it might involve.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has not declared independence. “The November polls are explicitly for parliament and presidency of the region, not for an independent state,” as cited by Reuters.
The Iraqi government has rejected the KRG offer’s to discuss independence. It has demanded Kurdish leaders to “cancel the results of the referendum or face continued sanctions, international isolation and possible military intervention.”
On Oct. 3, the federal parliament in Baghdad threatened to exclude Kurdish members who voted in the referendum, on the basis that the vote was unconstitutional.
Campaigning for the two elections will start in the region on Oct. 15, Rudaw TV cited High Elections and Referendum Commission Chief Hendrean Mohammed.