Abadi calls for calm in Kurdistan as chaos follows Barzani’s speech

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi

Baghdad ( Iraqi premier Haider al-Abadi has called for calm and for avoiding chaos in Kurdistan Region as violence was reported following a declaration by the region’s president that he rejects a renewed tenure.

“We are closely watching developments in Kurdistan Region and the assaults on political parties’ offices and media workers, as well as attempts to induce chaos and turmoil in Erbil and Dohuk,” a statement by Abadi’s media office read. “That is something that harms our citizens in the region and the general situation,” it added.

The statement urged “commitment to law and tranquilization, and to ensuring that political differences do not affect the Kurdish citizen”, noting that the Iraqi government was “anxious for stability in all Iraqi provinces”.

On Sunday, protesters stormed into the Kurdistan Parliament building as the chamber voted for distributing President Masoud Barzani’s powers among a number of state bodies. Barzani said in a speech he was not going to extend his term beyond November 1st.

Saboteurs also reportedly ransacked the offices of Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party and the opposition Gorran movement.

Iraqi federal forces took over several Kurdish-held areas in Kirkuk, Nineveh and Diyala provinces from Kurdish Peshmerga troops earlier this month in response to an independence referendum the semi-autonomous region held in September, in which 92 percent voted for independence from Iraq.

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