Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) The Iraqi government could remove the Kurdistan Region leadership following violent anti-government protests over the past two days, a newspaper reported, quoting presidential sources.
Saudi newspaper Okaz, quoting “trusted sources” at the Iraqi presidency, said Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is mulling various options to address the crisis in the autonomous, northern Iraq region, including the removal of Nechirvan Barzani’s cabinet based on the 78th article of the constitution, which empowers the prime minister to appoint and remove ministers after parliament approval.
Abadi, speaking during his weekly press conference on Tuesday, urged Kurdistan’s government to “respect the peaceful protests” as the region closed a second day of violent protests decrying delayed employee payments and poor services.
Abadi warned his government would not “stay idle” if any citizen in the region is harmed.
At least five protesters reportedly died while 80 were wounded during today’s clashes with security forces. Many political parties’ offices were also torched.
He also said it was “not possible to disburse all of the region’s salaries due to corruption”.
Delay in the transfer of Kurdistan employees salaries and the sharing of petroleum revenues have both been subjects of longtime contentions between Baghdad and Erbil.
Relations between both governments deteriorated after Erbil ran a vote in September when a majority voted for independence from Iraq.