Iraqi CP on the referendum in Kurdistan region

The Political Bureau of the Iraqi Communist Party issued a memorandum on the 20th September referendum in the Kurdistan region. 

ICP, 26 September 2017

The memorandum addressed the President of the Republic of Iraq, the Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, the Chairman of the Council of the Judiciary, besides the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi and the President of the Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani.

The Iraqi Communist Party declared its concern regarding the current developments in Iraq, "with regard to the issue of the referendum in the Kurdistan region and its repercussions, and the positions of the various national, regional and international forces". It stressed that the "the great national task" is the battle against Daesh. It underlined the urgent need "to return the displaced people to their areas and cities, launching a campaign of reconstruction, ensuring the safety and security of liberated areas and implementing an integrated package of measures to dry out the sources of terrorism".

The statement indicated to "the widespread popular demands for reform and change in governance and administration, for rebuilding state institutions away from the sectarian and ethnic quota system, and the adoption of the principle of citizenship, integrity and competence as a basis for public appointments". The Federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government share the responsibility of the current crisis which has erupted at such a time, but "the primary responsibility rests, of course, with those who hold power by virtue of their constitutional position".

According to the statement, the lack of political will to implement Article 140 of the Constitution and resolve the issues of the disputed areas has aggravated the crisis. The declaration of the leadership of the Kurdistan to include areas outside the authority of the Regional Government to the referendum on 25 September 2017 has "provoked strong reactions, triggered mutual exchanges internally and externally, and encouraged foreign countries and quarters to interfere into our national issues".

Regarding the issue of the referendum, the Political Bureau of the Iraqi Communist Party stated the following:

1- We, in the Iraqi Communist Party, recognize the right of self-determination for all peoples, small and large, and their right to express their free will, including the formation of a national state. It is the right that we have always dealt with in accordance with our country's concrete conditions, the latest of which was the adoption of federalism.

2- Accordingly, we supported the federal formula that was adopted in the Iraqi Constitution, which is an advanced formula for governance and administration in a multi-constituent state. It is regrettable that this formula of federalism has not yet exhausted all its potential, and the construction of the democratic federal state has not been completed. The various parties that have held the highest authority in the state have not provided the prerequisites to complete its construction so as to ensure partnership and participation, in words and deeds, for the entire spectrum of our people, and in particular for the people of the Kurdistan region, in managing and deciding the affairs of the country on the basis of citizenship, thus enhancing their choice of a voluntary union within a federal democratic Iraq

3- In our opinion, the restructuring of the federal state, whose structure is determined by the Iraqi Constitution of 2005, cannot be decided unilaterally by a particular party. While recognizing the right of this region or that area to hold a referendum to survey and identify the views of its citizens, the main issue is how to deal with its consequences and implement its outcome, which concerns the federal state as a whole.

4- In connection with the concrete situation of the country as mentioned above and the challenges ahead, and based on the the interests of all, including the people of the Kurdistan region, it is our view that that the referendum has not come under favourabe conditions and was not preceded by the necessary preparation before embarking on such a step which is undoubtedly a big step. In short, regardless of the motives of the various parties, the referendum remains a right which the pursuit of its implementation is untimely.

5- In this context, we see that the disputed areas remain within the relevant characterization stated in the Constitution, and are still subject to Article 140 and await a solution.

6- It is a grave mistake that is unjustified in any way to resort to convulsive positions, escalate the spirit of hostility between the Arab and Kurdish peoples, enflame the atmosphere and launch counter-threats, and to resort to violence and military action to resolve issues such as the ones we are dealing with. Such acts would aggravate the situation, encourage various external parties to interfere in our country's internal affairs and provide opportunities for both the terrorist forces and rogue groups to carry out their schemes to destabilize security and stability.

7- The unity of the country, in our view, can only be based on the conviction and satisfaction of all its constituents, away from coercion and forced annexation, so as to guarantee the equal rights of all.

The Iraqi Communist Party announced that it welcomed all the initiatives addressing the sensitive issue, including the initiative of the President of the Republic of Iraq. "This stems from our position that we favour adopting national efforts as a basis for addressing issues that concern our country and for resolving its difficulties, problems and crises" said the statement.

The negotiations between the federal government and the regional government should "ensure the legitimate rights of our Kurdish people, is in our view the most effective way to spare the Iraqi people in all its constituents and our dear country the repercussions of the current grave crisis, based on the spirit of citizenship and true partnership."

The Party declared that it totaly rejects resorting to arms, or threatening to use them, from any party and urges both sides for dialogue. The Party also emphasized that it absolutely rejects "the interference by the countries of the region and others in the internal affairs of Iraq, especially military intervention, or any Iraqi side seeking such interference, during these sensitive moments experienced by our dear homeland."

Lastly, the Political Bureau of the Iraqi Communist Party underlined the need to carry out the dialogue in the framework of the Constitution, without sectarian-ethnic quotas does not ensure the interests of all the constituents of the Iraqi people. It said, "The alternative is to build a state of citizenship; a democratic civil state based on social justice. Let us all work, in a high national spirit, to prevent our country from falling into dangerous slippery slopes, in which everybody will lose and only the enemies of our people will win."