Iraq PM calls Kurdish referendum illegal
Baghdad has called the Kurdish referendum illegal. This is in line with remarks made by the Iraq Prime minister Haider al-Abadi on Sunday in which he clearly stated that the Kurdistan region’s planned referendum is an illegal act. He called it “an illegal act” which will complicate the country’s problems.
In an interview with reporters on Sunday night, Abadi indicated that Baghdad and the UN were not interested in taking part in the referendum scheduled to take place on 25th September in Erbil. The Kurdish region has been pushing for a referendum for years as the region contests its desire to leave Iraq and become independent of mainland Iraq. But, the Iraq government and the international community have been solid on their desire to keep the Kurdish region under the Iraq government.
“The federal government has no intentions of taking part in the Kurdish region referendum slated for the 25th of September in Erbil. It will not participate, support or fund the referendum,” said the Prime minister as he spoke to reporters. “The referendum will undoubtedly have a negative impact on the country’s stability,” added Abadi as he bemoaned the continued instability that has characterized the country and the Kurdish region.
“What is worth taking into account is the fact that the referendum is not something that the Kurds have agreed upon. Rather, it has been imposed upon them by the government. Without any doubt, it is likely to add more problems to the region. It can also add more strain to the country’s already weakened economy even after independence.” The Prime minister’s concerns are mainly related to the fact that Iraq is still dealing with much bigger problems such as a weakened economy and the war against ISIS militants who have caused strife since 2014 when they captured many parts of the country.
Kurdistan had been given the right to rule itself following the enactment of the 2005 constitution. But, the Iraq government still considers it as part of the country. Its creation came in 1970 following an agreement between the mainland Iraq government and the Kurds after years of intense fighting. The deal was the one which helped to end the fierce fighting between Iraq and Kurdistan.
In recent months, the governments of the two regions had been engaged in a number of talks over regions recaptured from the IS militants by the Kurdish region army, the Peshmerga troops. The Iraq and Erbil governments have both been involved in campaigns against the IS militants since the launch of the war and the capture of various areas within Iraq. IS militants have lost most of the areas which they had captured; thanks to the efforts from the US led coalition and the Iraq forces.
According to a statement released by Abadi on Saturday, in case voters are in support of the independence, the outcome would not affect parts of the Kurdish region where the two governments do not agree on sovereignty. In such a case, a special referendum would become necessary.