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10:15 23 November
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Iraqi Kurdistan's President will not run for next term - UPDATED


Kurdish Regional Government President Masoud Barzani called for presidential elections to be held a month earlier in northern Iraq on Nov. 1 instead of Dec. 7, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

 

Senior Barzani assistant Hemin Hawrami tweeted on Saturday evening that the present KRG president had "refused to get any extension, or any amendments".

 

"President Barzani called for Parliament / President elections on12/7 to be held in Nov 1. Parliament extended its work for two seasons.

 

“President Barzani refused to get any extension, or any amendments. He sent a letter to the Parliament today. Parliament convene tomorrow," Hawrami tweeted.

 

On Wednesday, the KRG -- fearing more military escalation by Baghdad -- offered to “suspend” the results of last month’s illegitimate referendum, halt all military activity and enter into dialogue with the central government.

 

Tension has steadily mounted between Baghdad and the KRG since Sept. 25, when Iraqis in KRG-held areas -- and in several disputed areas, including Kirkuk -- voted on whether or not to declare political independence.

 

The unconstitutional referendum was heavily criticized by most regional and international actors, with many warning it would distract from Iraq’s ongoing fight against terrorism and further destabilize the region.

 

On Monday, Iraqi forces took over Kirkuk from Kurdish elements. The operation came weeks after an illegitimate independence referendum in territory controlled by the Erbil-based Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).

 

Kirkuk was among territory seized by Kurdish forces when the Iraqi military abandoned the city in the face of Daesh advances in 2015 but is not within the borders of the KRG’s autonomous territory.

 

***

 

00:54

 

Iraqi Kurdistan’s leader Masoud Barzani will not extend his presidential term beyond Nov. 1, a Kurdish government official said on Saturday, APA reports quoting Reuters.

 

A plan to divide up the president’s powers was outlined in a letter Barzani sent to the Kurdish parliament on Saturday, which it will discuss on Sunday, the official said.

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