Kurdish president hits back: Baghdad violated the Iraqi constitution not us

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President Masoud Barzani

ARA News

The Kurdish president Masoud Barzani on Wednesday responded to the comments of the Iraqi government officials that holding an independence referendum on the 25th of September is unconstitutional and that the Kurds should follow the Iraqi constitution.

“Deliberately Iraqi governments acted against the soul and mechanisms of federalism through strong centralization. The federal council should have been establish to guarantee consensus, balanced representation and power-sharing. They failed,” Barzani said.

“It was the Iraqi governments who neglected article 140 for 10 years and didn’t allow the establishment of federal council. In Iraq’s diplomatic institutions, Kurdistan’s share is decreased dramatically, Kurds were isolated, forcing Kurds out,” he said.

Article 140 of the Iraqi constitution calls for normalization of the disputed areas, to be followed by a referendum on whether or not those regions want to be part of the Kurdistan Region. However, the article deadline expired in 2007, and Baghdad failed to implement the Iraqi constitution.

“For many years Iraqi governments put embargo on Peshmerge, deprived of it is constitutional right. Opposite to constitution, there is no balance in Iraqi Army and Security forces, Kurds were systematically driven out,” Barzani said.

“The people of Kurdistan wants peace and mutual respect but never accepts language if threat and denial from any one. The era of threatening our people and denial of its rights is over. Not acceptable from anyone to speak in that tone with us,” Barzani said.

“With Iraq we don’t want to repeat the bitter past, we want to be good neighbors,” he said. “The people of Kurdistan will practice it is natural legal right of freedom of expression through peace and non violence, we have commitments to the blood of our martyrs , the public opinion, now and future of our nation. There is no turning back,” Barzani said.

“We reaffirm our position on Referendum as our natural legal and God given right. Why only Kurds should not have this right?!,” he added.

Moreover, the Kurdish president pointed out that the Iraqi government continues to be based on an inconclusive power system. “Claims of political majority in Iraq is to further disenfranchise the other major component and solidify power of one. They are talking about political majority in Iraq. We know it very well what they mean and intend, inconclusive power system,” he said.

“Consensus was the fundamental base for Iraq as the country of components, they have annihilated, along with other violation through which constitution they say we act against Kurdistan Referendum? They illegally cut the budget of Kurdistan, non of the Iraqi parties or religious authorities stances against that decision,” he said.

“There are many constitutional articles, which have been violated by Iraqi governments. It was them who broke it not us. It is stipulated in Iraqi constitution that the unity of Iraq is based on the implementation of the constitution. Those Iraqi officials who are against Referendum, they must read Iraqi constitution better,” Barzani concluded.

The Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday said that holding the referendum would be unconstitutional.

“A few months ago, I stressed on two or three occasions that this referendum is not constitutional. If you look at the Iraqi constitution, it is clear that we live in one homeland and are partners in this homeland. No unilateral action should be taken,” Abadi said.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News 

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