Kurdish President Insists on Including Iraqi Minorities in KIHEC

© AP Photo / UncreditedIraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani
Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani - Sputnik International
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The Kurdish president urged the Iraqi Kurdish regional parliament to include all national minorities, living in the Kurdistan region in the Kurdistan Independent High Electoral Commission (KIHEC) that would allow the Kurdistan autonomous region to conduct an independence referendum.

BAGHDAD, December 12 (Sputnik) — All national minorities, living in Iraq's Kurdistan region, will be equally represented in the Kurdistan Independent High Electoral Commission (KIHEC) that would allow the Kurdistan autonomous region to conduct an independence referendum, regional president Masoud Barzani has said.

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"It is necessary to provide genuine representation to all sides with no exception, because the commission is a state's national organ, and we cannot let any group to be excluded for the sake of some political parties," Barzani told national minorities' representatives Thursday.

Last week, Turkmen and Christian minorities' representatives decided to boycott the Iraqi Kurdish regional parliament, saying they are not represented in key institutions, including KIHEC.

On December 3, the regional parliament voted to gather KIHEC to discuss a question on the Iraqi Kurdistan region's status and conduct a referendum, with Iraqi Kurds deciding whether to stay within Iraq or become an independent state.

Iraq's central government does not acknowledge Kurdistan's right to gather any electoral or referendum commissions or conduct any independent elections.

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