Kurdish parliament speaker quits over forcible dispersal of protests

Kurdish Parliament Speaker Yousif Mohamed

Erbil ( – Speaker of the Kurdish Parliament Yousif Mohamed announced on Tuesday his resignation from his post, a step that resulted from the Kurdish government’s forcible dispersal of peaceful demonstrations that swept several Kurdish cities last week.

“The political authority in Kurdistan is adopting an approach that does not serve the interests of the Kurdish people,” Alqurtas News quoted Mohamed as saying Tuesday at a press conference.

He also asserted his refusal of “the use of force to achieve illegal gains.”

“There are several orientations within the Kurdistan Region and the parliament is the only institution that can embrace all viewpoints,” Mohamed said, adding that he spared no effort to bring all Kurdish parties together during his tenure as parliament speaker.

“The parliament is the most important institution and the sole alternative to the one-person policy,” he noted.

Several Kurdish people have taken to the streets last week in protest at unpaid salaries, deterioration of basic services and widespread corruption.

On Thursday, Iraqi Kurdistan Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani vowed to confront violent protests two days after the autonomous region was rocked by anti-government demonstrations over delayed payments and poor services.

Speaking during a press conference in Erbil, Barzani said, “Protesting is everybody’s right, but when it turns into chaos, we have to put an end to that.”

Tensions have been running high between Baghdad and the Kurdish government after the Kurds held a controversial referendum on the independence of Kurdistan on September 25.

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