Lawmakers vote against referendum, prompting walkout by Kurdish parliamentarians
Lawmakers on Tuesday voted against the Kurdish independence referendum and called on the Baghdad government to negotiate with the semi-autonomous Kurdish government.
A parliamentary majority in Baghdad voted in opposition to the Sept. 25 referendum planned by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).
“Parliament obliged Prime Minister Haider Abadi to take all measures that preserve the unity of Iraq and start a dialogue to address the related problems between Baghdad and Erbil,” lawmaker Ali al-Safi said, referring to the capital of northern Iraq’s Kurdish region.
The vote prompted Kurdish lawmakers to walk out of the session, which was attended by 204 of parliament’s 328 members.
The non-binding referendum will see residents in provinces controlled by the KRG vote on independence from Baghdad.
The Iraqi government is opposed to the poll, claiming it will affect the war against Daesh, cause instability and violate the Iraqi constitution. Turkey and the U.S. are also opposed to the vote.