Barzani's party to boycott election

# 15 January 2018 23:35 (UTC +04:00)

Masoud Barzani’s Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) announced on Monday it would not participate in Iraq’s 2018 general election in disputed areas such as Iraq’s Kirkuk due to regional instability, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

In the written statement, the KDP decided not to take part in the election, which was planned to be held on May 2018; the party also appealed to the people in the area to boycott the election.

“In order to elect the people’s representatives, the polls should be held in a peaceful and stable atmosphere,” it said.

“However, Kirkuk and other disputed areas are under occupation now. No elections could have been held in these turbulent areas. We, as KDP, have taken the decision to boycott the upcoming election.”

Tension has mounted between Baghdad and the KRG since Sept. 25, 2017, when the latter held an illegitimate referendum on regional independence.

In the wake of the poll, Iraqi government forces have moved into several parts of the country “disputed” between Baghdad and the Erbil-based KRG, including the oil-rich Kirkuk province.

The central government has also imposed a raft of sanctions on the Kurdish region, including a ban on international flights.