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Kurdistan Parliament approves resignation request of KIG lawmaker

2020-07-27

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SULAIMANI — During its first session in more than three weeks and second since early May, the Kurdistan Parliament approved on Monday (July 27) the resignation request of one of its lawmakers, Soran Omar of the Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG).

The session itself was only able to proceed when the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) dropped its threat to boycott the session after securing meetings between party co-president Bafel Talabani and the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) Nechirvan and Masrour Barzani.

Omar had been the focus of a contentious fight over parliamentary immunity earlier this spring, which saw his legal protections as an MP stripped by a motion supported almost exclusively by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). PUK Speaker Rewaz Fayaq stepped in later to reverse the vote, but Omar announced on July 15 his decision to step aside.

His request was approved with 55 votes out of the 89 lawmakers present.

NRT reporter Hersh Qadir said that the KIG and the Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) did not participate in the session at all and lawmakers from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and New Generation Movement abstained during the vote.

On Sunday morning, Head of the Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG) caucus Abdulstar Majid said during a press conference that KIG lawmakers had decided not to participate in the session because the legislation on the agenda was “not important for the people right now.”

During the session, the KRG ministers of interior and Peshmerga affairs answered question about security and the current situation in the Kurdistani areas outside the KRG administrative areas, a term that refers to the parts of the disputed areas now controlled by Iraq’s federal government.

The session continued into the evening, with the KRG health minister fielding questions about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, which has killed almost 500 people in the Kurdistan Region.

The Parliament is likely to meet again on Tuesday to continue on the agenda, including conducting readings of bills related to government employees, protection of archaeological sites, and regulation of electronic media.

(NRT Digital Media)