Opposition calls on Iraqi Kurd leader to resign

Opposition calls on Iraqi Kurd leader to resign

The current KRG presidency, held by Barzani since 2005, and parliament, elected in 2013, are expected to continue until new votes are held, he said.

People in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq voted on September 25 in a controversial referendum, amid rising tensions and worldwide opposition.

The presidential and parliament elections in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will not be held as planned on November 1 as political parties did not present candidates, the head of the electoral commission Hendrean Mohammed said Monday.

According to poll results announced by the KRG, nearly 93 percent voted in favor of independence.

Iraqi Kurds on September 25 voted overwhelmingly for independence in a poll set in motion by longtime regional leader Barzani and strongly opposed by Baghdad.

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The United Nations has voiced concern over reports that civilians, mainly Kurds, are being driven out of parts of northern Iraq retaken by central government forces and their houses and businesses looted and destroyed.

The recent offensive by Iraqi troops to take the multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk and its oil fields put the United States in a hard situation, as it has been allied with both the central Iraqi government and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).

He said the issue should be addressed "with consideration of the need to avoid creating another source of instability in the region".

He said Russia was not closing its consulate in Erbil, the main city in the KRG, but said the mission was subordinate to the Russian embassy in Baghdad.

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