Iraq's parliament has rejected Kurdish plans to hold an independence referendum aimed at creating a Kurdish state in Iraq's nothern territory, a lawmaker announced on Tuesday. The resolution, which labelled the ballot due to take place on September 25 a "threat to … the civil peace and regional security", authorises Haider al-Abadi, Iraq's prime minister, to take any measures necessary to preserve Iraq's existing borders. A breakdown for the vote was not immediately available. "Kurdish lawmakers walked out of the session but the decision to reject the referendum was passed by a majority," Mohammed al-Karbouli, an Iraqi MP, said. The Iraqi Kurdish parliament is expected to meet on Thursday for the first time since October 2015 in response to the decision, according to officials.
The Iraqi government has said it would reject any unilateral move by Kurdish regional authorities to press for independence, according to a spokesman in the capital, Baghdad. The statement on Friday comes two days after Masoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), announced that a referendum on Kurdish independence would be held on September 25. "No party can, on its own, decide the fate of Iraq, in isolation from the other parties," Saad al-Haddithi, Iraqi government spokesman, said in a statement. "Iraq is constitutionally a democratic, federal country with full sovereignty ... Any measure from any side in Iraq should be based on the constitution," Haddithi said. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had said in April that he respected the Kurdish right to vote on independence, but he did not think the timing was right for the move. The referendum on whether to secede from Iraq is planned to be held in the three governorates that make up the Kurdish region, and in the areas that are disputed by the Kurdish and Iraqi governments but are currently under Kurdish military control.
Iraq's prime minister says he'll only accept a full cancellation of the Kurdish independence vote and its results, dismissing a proposal by the autonomous Iraqi Kurdish region to freeze the referendum results pending negotiations with Baghdad. Haider al-Abadi says the central government "will accept only the cancelling of the referendum and following the constitution," according to a written statement released by his office. Al-Abadi's announcement comes during a visit to Iran on Thursday. The Kurds' referendum last month overwhelmingly backed independence from Baghdad. Though the vote was non-binding, it has roiled tensions with the central government and the region.