KRG parliament votes to postpone presidential, parliamentary polls – originally slated for Nov. 1 – to July of next year.
Northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) on Tuesday announced its decision to postpone presidential and parliamentary polls -- originally slated for Nov. 1 -- by eight months to July of next year.
The decision was approved by the KRG parliament, with 60 members of the 111-seat assembly voting in favor and eight against, Macid Bazirgan, a Turkmen lawmaker for the city of Erbil (the KRG’s administrative capital), told Anadolu Agency.
The vote session, however, was boycotted by the Kurdish Movement for Change (Gorran) and the Kurdistan Islamic Society Party (Komel), the Kurdish region’s two main opposition parties.
Last week, the KRG announced the suspension of all preparations for the planned Nov. 1 polls amid steadily mounting tension between Baghdad and Erbil in the wake of last month’s illegitimate referendum on Kurdish regional independence.
It had stopped short of suspending -- or calling off -- the polls altogether, however.
On Sept. 25, Iraqis in KRG-controlled-held areas -- and in several disputed parts of the country -- voted on whether or not to declare independence from the Iraqi state.
According to poll results announced by the KRG, almost 93 percent of those who cast ballots voted in favor of independence.
The illegitimate referendum faced sharp opposition from most regional and international actors (including the U.S., Turkey and Iran), who warned that the poll would distract from Iraq’s fight against terrorism and destabilize the already-volatile region.
Last week, Iraqi troops moved into several parts of the country previously held by Peshmerga forces loyal to the KRG, including the oil-rich Kirkuk province.