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Rudaw

Kurdistan

PUK, KDP should be willing to accept a ‘No’ to independence, Kurdish official

By Rudaw 10/5/2017
The flag of the Kurdistan Region blows in the wind. Photo: Rudaw
The flag of the Kurdistan Region blows in the wind. Photo: Rudaw

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — A Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) politburo executive has said that if the majority of people don’t accept independence for the nation, then the nation needs to be re-educated in spite of the wants of the ruling parties.

 

“We will be holding the referendum to know whether or not the nation wants independence for Kurdistan. We say this publicly, if the majority of people didn’t accept independence for Kurdistan, we cannot, neither the PUK nor the KDP or other parties, say that we should be independent,” said Mala Bakhtiar at a forum in Khanaqin. “Rather, we should leave this question for a number of years until we educate our nation again.

 

Bakhtiar sees a referendum on independence as a right acknowledged by the Iraqi constitution and a part of democracy.

 

“Holding a referendum is a national question. It is a question related to democratic processes. It is the right of the individual and the public. The constitution is based on democratic principles,” he said. “Hence, we too can benefit from the constitution so that we (protect) our rights as determined in the constitution and hold the referendum in a way which is suitable and serves the democratic process.”

 

The Kurdistan Region-Iraqi relations as they exist today trace their roots back to the 1970 revolt, the establishment of a no-fly zone and creation of a semi-autonomous region in 1991 and the transitional constitution of 2005.

 

“We are not going to hold the referendum in Basra. We will be holding it somewhere called southern Kurdistan,” Bakhtiar added. “Hence, the Iraqi government in no way can prevent us from holding the referendum. What they say is warmongering to the law and democracy.”

 

The opposition Gorran Movement (Change) and the PUK  have stated that they will support the vote after the reactivation of the parliament which has been shut down since October 2015 after heated disagreements between Gorran and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) effectively dismantled a power-sharing deal between the two rivalling parties.

 

The deputy speaker of parliament Jaafar Ibrahim told Rudaw in an interview that months of meetings and negotiations between Kurdish parties have led to an understanding that the parliament must reopen which he believes might happen by June.

 

"There is good mutual understanding on this question. I think the parliament will be reactivated in a month," Ibrahim of the KDP said on Monday.

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Muraz Adzhoev | 10/5/2017
What is this about - "if the majority of people didn’t accept independence for Kurdistan, we cannot, neither the PUK nor the KDP or other parties, say that we should be independent"?
COM | 10/5/2017
What the f*** is this corrupt donkey talking about? The last time a unofficial refereundem was held 98% of the people voted YES. Is he talking about himself and his party or the people? Is it sinking in that they have to go through with it this time or loose the tiny amount of credibility they have left? They're getting cold feet and want to blame it on the people, just dare not hold the refereundem and see what happens!
religion of peace | 10/5/2017
Kurds dont want independence this is just another trick by superpowers to trick kurds into their political games in their own favor. Allah is our ruler.
A Kurd in exile | 11/5/2017
Someone should ask this Mala Bakhtiar (whoever he is) what the hell is he talking about?! If I am not mistaken, in 2005, in an unofficial referendum, more than 80% of the people in Southern Kurdistan voted "YES" for independence. Now, this guy thinks that the same people might say "NO"? Either he is stupid, or he is on the payroll of Iran or Iraq governments and is trying to create doubt and confusion about the will of the Kurdish people. My message to him is this: "Shame on you Mala Bakhtiar, whoever you are!"
jens holm | 11/5/2017
The important matter is, if all will respect and work for the answer. Else voting about it just will be a waste. As and outsider Im not in it as a person, but somehow I think You are more protcted being a part of Iraq making some realtic small updates of land as well as the connections with Bagdad.
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