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10 Kurdish MPs may lose seats in Baghdad for independence vote

By Rudaw 7/10/2017
10 Kurdish MPs may lose seats in Baghdad for independence vote
Iraqi security forces stand guard outside the parliament in Baghdad. File photo: AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – An Iraqi parliamentary committee has provided the names of 10 Kurdish MPs who voted in the September 25 referendum. These ten names will be put before parliament to consider stripping them of their seats.

Aliya Nosaif, an MP from the Shiite the State of Law faction, said a temporary committee comprised of the legal and MP’s affairs committees named 10 Kurdish MPs who participated in the independence referendum.

The committee was requested to provide the list of Kurdish MPs by the parliament.

Kurdish MPs who are among those who may be expelled include: Arez Abdullah, head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) faction, Arafat Karam, head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) faction, Muthana Amin, head of the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) faction, Shakawan Abdullah, deputy head of KDP faction, Najiba Najib, Ashwaq Jaff, Adil Nuri, Abdulaziz Hassan, and Vian Dakhil.

Muthana Amin said it was “a big honor” for him to be punished for Kurdistan.

“They have been shocked and want to take revenge in this way and fight to break our will,” Amin said.

He described the move as “illegal, adding more tension to the Iraqi parliament.”

He believes the parliament does not have to act in this way and urged Kurdish MPs from all factions to boycott parliamentary sessions protesting the decree. 

Asked why no MPs from the Change Movement (Goran) or Kurdistan Islamic Group (Komal) were listed for removal from the parliament, he said Baghdad was trying to create a rift among Kurds.

“With this position, Baghdad wants to divide us and create rifts among us, purporting to show that the punishments do not go against all Kurds, but for a segment,” he said, describing it as Baghdad’s “sly politics.”

Last week, the Iraqi parliament asked the Federal Court in a letter to take legal measures against Kurdish MPs who voted for independence from Iraq in the referendum.

The issue was raised by Salim al-Jabouri, speaker of the parliament, together with the Shiite National Alliance, the largest faction in the parliament.

The letter called for stripping immunity from those Kurdish MPs involved in vote and going so far as putting them on trial.

The Iraqi parliament has issued a set of punitive measures against the Kurdistan Region in response to the referendum, including a flight ban.
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