Iraq Breaking Apart: Kurds Plan Independence Vote
90 walk out of parliament meeting
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jul 1, 2014 10:01 AM CDT
Kurdish regional president Massoud Barzani shows his ink-stained finger after casting his vote in parliamentary elections, in Salah al-Din resort, north of Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, April 30, 2014.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – With Iraq divided by violence, its Kurdish region is ready to consider forging a nation of its own. Massoud Barzani, the president of the autonomous Kurdistan Region, says he's planning a referendum on independence that could occur in "a matter of months," the BBC reports. Kurdistan has long wanted independence and feels it's done its part to support a unified Iraq. But "everything that's happened recently shows that it's the right of Kurdistan to achieve independence," Barzani says. "From now on, we won't hide that that's our goal. Iraq is effectively partitioned now. Are we supposed to stay in this tragic situation the country's living?"

Iraq's parliament appeared poised to grapple with the country's upheaval today—but after a half-hour break in its session, 90 members didn't come back, CNN reports. The lack of a quorum prompted a postponement, with the acting speaker citing an unspecified "urgent matter" as the reason for the delay. The New York Times reports that those who walked out were Sunnis and Kurds, and their departure indicated opposition to Shiite religious leaders' calls for a quickly-arranged new government representing all three groups. Shiites are the country's majority, living in Baghdad and the south, while Sunnis live in the north and Kurds are in the northeast. USA Today notes talk of dividing the country into three zones—something Joe Biden proposed in 2006. "I would accept any solution to stop the bloodshed, even if it was a confederation or division," says a dentist in eastern Iraq.

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Showing 3 of 67 comments
dan6807
Jul 2, 2014 3:40 PM CDT
Gosh, no one expects the Spanish Inquisition. Who, except the CIA is stupid enough not to know this would happen?
Corsica
Jul 2, 2014 7:56 AM CDT
The Kurds are a stable, industrious people. Although they are Sunni, they don't seem to be like the screaming meemees that Arab Sunnis and Shiites are. Good luck to them.
Lou Bernardo
Jul 1, 2014 11:37 PM CDT
Let it be a warning to all that wrapping a towel around your head and wearing it in the hot desert sun can be dangerous to your mental health, as these "leaders" in that sinkhole part of the world proves.