Kurdistan Region President Barzani ensures the people of Kurdistan that Article 140 will be implemented. “It is impossible to not carry out Article 140,” asserted Barzani.
Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani assured people of the region that Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution will be implemented within the six months suggested by the UN envoy to Iraq.
Barzani insisted on Article 140’s implementation during a joint press conference with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, held in Dukan resort in Suleimaniya on January 5.
“We consider the suggestion offered by the UN a positive step and certainly the article will be implemented in the six months,” said President Barzani, explaining that this extension had international support due to the presence of the UN, which, according to Barzani, along with the strong will of Kurdish people guarantees the implementation of the constitutional article.
Two weeks before the constitutional deadline for holding a referendum according to Article 140, the UN Secretary-General’s special representative, Stifan De Mistura, attended a session of Kurdistan Parliament and suggested that Kurdish leaders extend the implementation deadline for six months. This came after the High Committee in charge of implementing Article 140 already announced that they were unprepared to hold the referendum. Last December 26, Kurdistan Parliament voted to accept the UN suggestion. Some Iraqi political powers created fear among the Kurdish discourse as they called the suggestion illegal to the Constitution.
Meanwhile, the High Committee decided to go ahead with the six-month extension. Additionally, the committee also prepared a law project including five decisions directed to Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki.
Frankly assuring the Kurdish people, Barzani made it clear, saying: “It is impossible to not carry out Article 140.” He added, “The UN interfered with good suggestions, including the choice of working in accord with the 2005 elections as an alternative,” for the expected referendum in case any further problems arise after the suggested six-month extension.
The Kurdish Brotherhood bloc at the Kirkuk provincial council called on Iraqi PM al-Maliki to apologize to the Iraqi people for not implementing the constitutional article in its promised time.
“The Kirkuk governor, Abdul-Rahman Mustafa, has demanded al-Maliki attend Iraqi Parliament to give his explanation on postponing Article 140,” said Muhammad Kamal, member of the Kurdish bloc at the Kirkuk provincial council, in a statement to The Globe. Kamal also added that another one of the governor’s demands is to hold the referendum in Kirkuk city and the areas surrounding it by next March.
It was requested at an Iraqi Parliament session that the High Committee for implementing Article 140 be dissolved because of the six-month extension. But the Kurdistan Coalition (KC) bloc in Iraqi Parliament rejected that.
“Such demands are stated only by those who oppose the implementation of Article 140. These are baseless and unconstitutional demands and the KC stands against them,” said Sadi Barzinji, member of the Kurdish bloc in the Iraqi Parliament, by telephone contact with The Globe. He pointed out that there are no guarantees on this issue except the will of the Kurdish people.