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PUK and KDP to meet for third time in a month to discuss Kurdish referendum

2017/04/23 | 11:30

(Iraq News)- ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The main two ruling parties in Kurdistan Region are scheduled to meet in Erbil on Sunday to discuss the outcome of a joint efforts to form a multi-party committee regarding holding the independence referendum. The politburo office of both Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and its ally the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) will meet in Pirmam, Rudaw has learned. President Masoud Barzani of the KDP will host the meeting. Today’s meeting comes a day after the PUK and Gorran, or the Change Movement, held a meeting on the issue of independence in Sulaimani, followed by a joint statement. Their statement though insisted that holding the referendum is the natural right of the Kurdistan nation, and that they are with the referendum in the so-called disputed areas.

It emphasized that it needs a mandate from the now-paralyzed Kurdistan parliament that has not convened since October 2015. The ruling KDP, which holds the posts of Kurdistan Region’s president and prime minister, has so far insisted that the long-anticipated referendum does not need a mandate from the Kurdish legislature, citing legal experts whom they claim have advised so. The KDP and the PUK leadership last met on April 11 in Erbil to discuss the referendum. Kurdish President Masoud Barzani, and Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, also of the KDP, and Kurdistan’s Vice President Kosrat Rasul from the PUK, among others, took part in that hours-long meeting. The conclusion was reached to form a committee, consisting of seven political parties, five major Kurdish parties, plus two seats reserved for the Turkmen and Christian minorities. The committee has not been set up yet due to major political differences, especially between the KDP and Gorran. PUK and KDP visited all main and minority political parties, except Gorran, who refused to meet with a joint PUK-KDP delegation. About a year-and-a-half ago, security forces in Erbil, largely under the control of the KDP, blocked the speaker, a Gorran party member, from returning to the capital where the parliament is located. Gorran along with the Islamic Union, and the Islamic Group (Komal) — all members of the Kurdish coalition government — say they are in favor of the referendum, but it must have a mandate from the parliament.










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