News & Events

ARTICLE: Here’s what old constitutional debates tell us about the new crisis in Iraqi Kurdistan

By Zaid Al-Ali,  October 31, 2017

THE WASHINGTON POST: The day before a Sept. 25 independence referendum, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) published a 30-page report arguing that Iraq is a “voluntary union” in which Kurdistan has “retained its sovereign status.” The report also listed a large number of constitutional violations by the Iraqi government, including the failure to resolve the status of disputed territories by the agreed deadline, which expired 10 years ago.

The report argues that the “voluntary union” is therefore no longer valid, entitling Kurdistan to organize an independence referendum in the territory that it controlled in September 2017, including the city of Kirkuk. The referendum prompted a swift Iraqi, regional, and international response, driving Kurdish forces out of the disputed territories and of what remained of the Kurdistan region’s political institutions.

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