CAIRO (Sputnik) — President of Iraqi Kurdistan Masoud Barzani said on Sunday that he will continue to fight for the rights of the Kurds as a member of the Peshmerga, after his term as the autonomy's head ends on November 1.
Earlier in the day, 71-year-old leader officially refused to extend his duties. Previously both presidential, as well as parliamentary elections, were slated for November 1, however, the chaos that broke out after the independence vote made authorities to postpone elections.
It's official, Masoud Barzani has resigned.— Zhe Kaf #AsoRûne (@peshmerga_46) October 28, 2017
Sad way to go. pic.twitter.com/7ruZCgGoWb
Masoud Barzani is the first president of Iraqi Kurdistan elected in 2005. In 2013 he refused to abandon the post, though his mandate expired. The parliament since then has extended it twice for two years.
In a statement, Barzani stressed that despite stepping down as a president he would remain a fighter of the Peshmerga.
"I will be with the people, among other dear fighters of the Peshmerga, I will continue to fight for the rights of the Kurdish people and for the preservation of the Kurds’ achievements," Barzani added.
Good speech from Masoud Barzani as he leaves the post of presidency, in the end he says “I will always remain #Peshmerga.”— Ruwayda Mustafah (@RuwaydaMustafah) October 29, 2017
After Barzani announced his resignation protesters reportedly attempted to storm the building of the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament in Erbil. According to the Sky News Arabia, there was shooting inside the parliament's building but a spokesman of the parliament told Sputnik that the information about the shooting in the building was nothing but rumors.