SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – Leaders of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Gorran (Change Movement) called for ‘complete preparations’ for a referendum on independence to be made after disputes over the parliament are resolved.
“Complete preparations should be made after the normalization of the parliament to hold the referendum with the intention to declare independence, in which disputed areas should also participate,” the leadership committees of the two parties said in a brief joint statement issued after a meeting on Friday.
The meeting was held as part of PUK mediation efforts between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Gorran.
Parliament has not sat since October 2015 after the KDP and Gorran fell out over the president’s term of office. Gorran also favours a parliamentary system of governance while the KDP prefers a presidential one.
Gorran has been the loudest voice demanding the referendum on independence be legislated by the parliament.
The PUK announced it would hold talks on the issue of parliament with each party before the Eid holiday this weekend in an attempt to resolve disputes and reach an agreement under which parliament could convene.
PUK and Gorran will meet again after Eid, according to their joint statement, to “focus on the decisive questions of the Kurdistan Region.”
The referendum is scheduled for September 25. The date was set after a multi-party meeting chaired by President Masoud Barzani, who is also head of the KDP. Gorran did not attend the meeting in early June.