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Iraqi federal court annuls Kurdish independence referendum

Staff Writer | November 20, 2017
The Iraqi federal court invalidated the independence referendum of the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan and the disputed areas.
Massud Barzani
Tensions   Kurdish Regional Government
"The Supreme Federal Court issued a verdict ruling that the September 25 referendum, in 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 court also nullified all the effects and the consequences of the referendum, Samouk added.

Earlier, Baghdad rejected an offer from Iraqi Kurdish leaders to freeze the outcome of the referendum and to launch dialogue to resolve the problems between Baghdad and Erbil, instead Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi insisted on demanding the annulment of the independence vote before any dialogue between the two sides.

On November 6, the Iraqi Supreme Court issued a verdict clarifying the articles of the Iraqi constitution that "have underlined the unity of Iraq" and that "no text in the constitution allows the secession of any of its (Iraq's) components."

The verdict came as a response to a request by the Baghdad government to end the "misinterpretation" of the

rticles of the Iraqi constitution. According to the first article of the Iraqi constitution, "the republic of Iraq is a single federal, independent and fully sovereign state, in which the system of government is republic

n, representative u(parliamentary) and democratic, and this constitution is a guarantor of the unity of Iraq."

After eight days, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) said in a statement that it would "respect the interpretation of the Supreme Court for Article 1 of the constitution."

"At the same time, we affirm our belief that this should be the basis for initiating a comprehensive national dialogue to resolve disputes by applying all constitutional articles," the KRG statement said.