Iraqi-Kurd opposition in northern Iraq defies ruling parties


Komel and Gorran, two opposition parties in Iraq's Kurdish region, has decided to boycott in order to deliver a warning to the region's ruling parties Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.

Two opposition parties in northern Iraq's Kurdish region -- Komel and Gorran -- have chosen to boycott a "political leadership" initiative unveiled Sunday by Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani.

According to a Monday statement released by the Kurdistan Islamic Society Party (Komel), the decision to boycott the initiative was taken in order "to deliver a warning" to the region's ruling parties.

The KRG is currently led by a governing coalition consisting of Barzani's Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.

On Sunday, the KRG's High Referendum Council, which had been mandated with overseeing last week's illegitimate poll on regional independence, was officially replaced by a new committee dubbed the "Political Leadership of Kurdistan-Iraq".

The new committee is reportedly tasked with following up on the results of last week's unconstitutional referendum on regional independence.

"President Barzani on Sunday convened a meeting of political parties to announce the launch of the new committee, which is supposed to replace the referendum council," Komel said in its Monday statement.

"The meeting, however, was not attended by either Komel or the Kurdish Movement for Change (Gorran) party," it added.

On Monday, Gorran went so far as to formally request the dissolution of the newly-established committee.

While the exact reasons for the move remain unclear, Gorran, in its Monday statement, asserted that KRG institutions had to be "depoliticized and improved".

The latest developments come in the wake of last week's illegitimate regional poll in which Iraqis in KRG-held areas -- and in certain areas disputed between Baghdad and Erbil -- voted on whether or not to declare independence from Iraq.

According to poll results announced by the KRG, almost 93 percent of registered voters cast ballots in favor of independence.

The referendum had faced sharp opposition from most regional and international actors, many of whom had warned that the poll would only serve to distract from Iraq's ongoing fight against terrorism and further destabilize the already-volatile region.

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