Pro-Kurdish HDP: KRG’s independence referendum, its results legitimate

“Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) independence referendum and its result are legitimate,” said Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Central Executive Board, in a written statement released on Thursday.

HDP’s statement has underlined that although the referendum caused various debates it was carried out in a transparent manner and on the basis of participatory principles. “We perceive (the referendum) as legitimate, and also as the manifestation of the will of the people, the announced official result of the referendum, and salute this result. We hereby congratulate the peoples, political parties and administrative bodies of the KRG who exerted a great effort in the realization of the referendum,” said HDP.

In its statement HDP has highlighted the following points:

“For the will that has manifested itself in the referendum to contribute to social and regional welfare, the development of the culture of democracy and the construction of permanent peace, it is clearly necessary to sustain the dialogue between the KRG and Central Government of Iraq in a peaceful environment.

“Developments following the referendum and various reactions have shown that it is highly necessary to hold the National Congress in order to contribute to regional peace and take steps towards the construction of the political, cultural, economic and social unity of the Kurdish people. This opportunity must be seized without further delay.

“The social structure of each country in the region is home to different cultures, beliefs, peoples and languages. Thus, any democratic system that is to be established must plan to construct structures suitable to this diversity. The struggle of the Kurdish people to acquire status in the countries it lives in is legitimate, it possesses historical legitimacy. In which form and name, and within the framework of which democratic alliances this status will develop is linked to the social and political structure of each country in the region.

“Any ‘possible’ joint military or economic sanction, embargo or blockade to be imposed by countries in the region in reaction to the result of the referendum will not only go against regional and social peace, but will also further complicate already existing problems. These countries should base any action they take on relationships of neighbourhood with the KRG and the peoples of the region, in line with international law. Such a stance would also contribute to the development of their own social peace, and cultures of democracy.

“The adoption of military methods instead of the peaceful and democratic steps that should be taken in the political and diplomatic fields will lead to new ethnic and belief-based clashes and tensions in the countries of the region. As we continue with determination our struggle to develop democratic, libertarian and egalitarian social and political relationships in the region and in each country in the region, we once again emphasize that peaceful and democratic methods, dialogue and negotiation remain crucial and essential.”

Initial results of the KRG referendum on independence from Iraq shows the ‘Yes’ vote won with a total of 92 percent, according to the Independent High Elections and Referendum Commission (IHERC) announced on Wednesday afternoon.

‘Yes’ vote has won the majority with 92.73 percent while ‘No’ vote gained only 7.27 percent of the votes. IHERC stated that the turnout for Monday’s referendum was 72.16 percent. IHERC also said that 4,581,255 people were eligible to vote in the Kurdistan Region’s referendum. “Out of this number, 3,305,925 people cast their vote, amounting to 72.16 percent.”

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