Iraq's Supreme Court orders suspension of Kurdistan referendum

BAGHDAD, Kadhem al-Attabi (dpa)– Iraq's Supreme Court on Monday ordered the suspension of an independence referendum in the autonomous region of Kurdistan, as the stand-off between Baghdad and Erbil intensifies.
Kurdistan plans to hold the vote on September 25. Baghdad has repeatedly condemned the referendum as unconstitutional.

A court statement said that referendum procedures would be suspended until it issues a ruling on complaints contesting the legality of the vote.
The verdict came after a request from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to the federal Supreme Court about the "unconstitutionality of the separation of any province or region in Iraq."
Erbil has rejected Baghdad's claim and Kurdistan's president, Masoud Barzani, ruled out postponing the vote. The parliament of Kurdistan voted Friday in favour of holding the independence referendum.
The planned vote has also alarmed Iraq's neighbours - Turkey, Iran and Syria - who are worried it will encourage their Kurdish minorities to break away.
The referendum is planned to be held in Kurdistan and disputed areas including the oil-rich province of Kirkuk.

Monday, September 18th 2017
Kadhem al-Attabi

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