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Published On: Sun, Oct 8th, 2017

10 Iraqi MPs risk being stripped of their seats for voting in Kurdistan referendum

nsnbc : A committee of Iraq’s federal government in Baghdad has provided the names of 10 Kurdish MPs who voted in the referendum on the independence of the Kurdistan Autonomous Region on September 25. Their names will be put before parliament to consider stripping them of their seats, undermining further, the claim that Kurds are fairly represented in Baghdad. 

Entrance to Iraq's Federal Parliament in Baghdad.

Entrance to Iraq’s Federal Parliament in Baghdad.

Aliya Nosaif, a Member of the Federal Parliament in Baghdad 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 Shiite dominated federal parliament had tasked the committee with providing the list with the list.

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 denounced the move as “illegal” and warned that it would lead to additional tensions in the already highly unstable federal parliament in Baghdad. He also stressed that he believes the federal parliament does not have to act in this way and that he has 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 federal 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 federal 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 federal parliament has issued a set of punitive measures against the Kurdistan Autonomous Region in response to the referendum, including a flight ban. Baghdad, as well as neighboring Turkey and Iran have also threatened with additional measures, including possible military actions against the Kurdistan Autonomous Region.

CH/L – nsnbc 08.10.2017

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