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Irbil Express Reservations on Iraqi Court Decision to Annul Referendum

Irbil Express Reservations on Iraqi Court Decision to Annul Referendum

Tuesday, 21 November, 2017 - 07:00
Iraqi Kurdish protesters deploy a giant flag of their autonomous Kurdistan region during a pro-independence rally in Irbil. (AFP)

The Iraqi Kurdistan Region expressed on Monday its reservations on an Iraqi Federal Court rule, stipulating that the September 25 Kurdish independence referendum is "unconstitutional.”

Outgoing Kurdish President Masoud Barzani criticized the ruling, saying the court did not issue a ruling that showed its neutrality.

In a statement issued by his office on Monday evening, he said: “The decision by the Federal Court is unilateral, political, and has exploited constitutional texts in the interest of some political parties.”

He added that the court disregarded violations committed by the Iraqi government against 55 articles of the constitution, including failing to implement Article 140 to resolve the disputed areas and cutting the Kurdistan Region budget.

For his part, Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani told reporters on Monday that the Federal Court’s ruling was made “unilaterally and without the presence of Kurdish representatives.”

Earlier, the Iraqi Supreme Federal Court issued a verdict ruling that "the September 25 referendum, in the Kurdistan region and the disputed areas outside the region, was unconstitutional," Ayas al-Samouk, head of the court's media office, said in a brief statement.

The government of Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi welcomed the ruling and called on all parties to respect the constitution.

"We call on everyone to respect the constitution and to act under its roof in resolving all controversial issues and avoid taking any step contrary to the constitution and the law," a statement by Abadi's office said following the court’s decision.

In return, several observers said that the Federal Court’s ruling could offer an exit for both parties to start dialogue.

A deputy from the ruling Kurdistan Democratic party, Fares al-Briykakani said that the court decision “opens the door for real dialogue between Baghdad and Irbil,” adding that the ruling was binding.

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