Top Iraq Court Rules Kurdish Referendum Unconstitutional

Top Iraq Court Rules Kurdish Referendum UnconstitutionalTop Iraq Court Rules Kurdish Referendum Unconstitutional

Iraq’s Supreme Federal Court on Monday ruled that the Kurdish independence referendum held on 25 September was unconstitutional and that voting results were void, a court spokesman said.

Kurds voted overwhelmingly to break away from Iraq, defying the central government in Baghdad as well as neighboring Turkey and Iran, Middle East Eye reported.

The court is responsible for settling disputes between Iraq’s central government and regions including Kurdistan. The verdict cannot be appealed. “The Federal Court issued the decision to consider the Kurdish region’s referendum unconstitutional and this ruling is final,” the spokesman said. “The power of this ruling should now cancel all the results of the referendum.”

The court had already ruled on 6 November that no region or province could secede and the Kurdistan Regional Government said last week that it would respect that verdict.

It also said it respected a previous decision insisting on Iraqi unity, which could be a basis for dialogue.

Iraqi parliamentarians in Baghdad are currently reviewing the federal budget for the coming year, including the allocation for the autonomous Kurdish region. September’s referendum was initiated by then Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, for whom the repercussions were severe.

At the beginning of November, Barzani announced that he was stepping aside, having lost almost all of the territory disputed between the Kurdish capital Erbil and Baghdad.


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