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Supreme Court in Iraq orders suspension of Kurdish referendum

September 18, 2017 at 3:42 pm

President of Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (IKRG) Masoud Barzani speaks during a meeting with a group of journalists in Erbil, Iraq on 6 September 2017 [Yunus Keleş/Anadolu Agency]

The Supreme Court today ruled to suspend the planned Kurdish independence referendum in northern Iraq, a court official said.

There was no immediate response from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) on the decision but it has previously defied protestations from Baghdad about the legality of the 25 September vote.

Iyas Samuk, a spokesman for the court, said it had ordered the suspension of all activities related to the referendum until complaints claiming the vote would be unconstitutional have been heard.

Turkey, the US, Iran and the UN have all joined Baghdad in speaking out against the poll planned for the Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Iraq, saying the vote would distract from operations against Daesh and lead to greater instability in the region.

KRG President Masoud Barzani has said a “yes” vote would not initiate a declaration of independence but would lead to negotiations with Baghdad.

Read: Iraq’s top security body rejects Kurdish referendum