Iraq Kurd chief to discuss disputed areas referendum: MP

Iraqi Kurdish regional president Massud Barzani will address the Kurdish parliament Thursday on holding a referendum in disputed areas, after vowing to hold a plebiscite within months, an MP said.

AFP| Last Updated: Jul 03, 2014, 16:48 PM IST

Arbil: Iraqi Kurdish regional president Massud Barzani will address the Kurdish parliament Thursday on holding a referendum in disputed areas, after vowing to hold a plebiscite within months, an MP said.

Farsat Sufi, a lawmaker in the Kurdish parliament, said the referendum would be on Article 140, the section of the Iraqi constitution that provides for a vote on whether disputed northern territory will join the Kurdish region or remain under direct federal control.

But Barzani also told the BBC this week that a referendum on regional independence would be held within months.

The Kurdish leader would also urge parliament to speed up the approval of a law establishing an independent electoral commission for the region, said Sufi, an MP from Barzani`s party.

At present, elections across Iraq are organised by the country`s Independent High Electoral Commission, including votes in Kurdish areas.

Federal security forces abandoned positions in a swathe of northern territory when faced with a Sunni militant offensive that began June 9, allowing Iraqi Kurds to take control of disputed areas they have long wanted to incorporate into their autonomous region over Baghdad`s strong objections.

Barzani has previously declared that the territory dispute is finished, meaning Kurdish control of the areas would continue.

But Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Wednesday dismissed that assertion.

"No one has the right to exploit the events that took place to impose a fait accompli, as happened in some of the actions of the Kurdistan region. This is rejected."