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Iraq Orders Arrest of Organizers of Kurdish Referendum

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Iraqi court orders arrest of head and members of the Kurdish election commission.

An Iraqi court on Wednesday issued an arrest warrant for the head and members of the election commission responsible for last month’s independence referendum in the Kurdish region. 

“The Rusafa Investigation Court has issued an arrest warrant for the head and members of the commission who supervised the referendum in the Kurdistan Region,” Abdulstar Bayraqdar, spokesperson for the high judicial council, said in a statement.

He said the warrant was issued after the National Security Council “filed a lawsuit arguing that the referendum was contrary to the decision of the high federal court”.

On Sept. 25, Iraqis in KRG-held areas -- and in several areas disputed between Baghdad and Erbil -- voted on whether or not to declare independence from Iraq.

According to results announced by the KRG, almost 93 percent of those who cast ballots voted in favor of independence.

The illegitimate referendum had faced sharp opposition from most regional and international actors (including the U.S., Turkey and Iran), who had warned that the poll would distract from Iraq’s ongoing fight against terrorism and further destabilize the region.

The Iraqi Parliament had called on the Federal Court to take legal actions against MPs who took part in the referendum.

 

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