Thursday, December 27, 2007

Nine month delay on Kirkuk referendum

The UN electoral assistance division for Iraq came up with this when I asked them about the delays for the Kirkuk referendum:

Baghdad, 15 December, 2007: UNAMI is pleased to note that there is generalagreement among the Presidency Council, with the concurrence of the PrimeMinister of Iraq and the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan RegionalGovernment (KRG), on the urgent need to initiate a process in order toaccelerate the implementation of Article 140 of the Iraqi Constitution.This process will place particular emphasis on, but not be limited to,issues relating to the Northern provinces of Iraq. In view of thetechnical and logistical difficulty of holding a referendum prior to 31December 2007, as mandated in the Constitution, and given thecorresponding need for a technical delay, it has been indicated to UNAMIthat the next best step would be to initiate, in January 2008, and withinsix months, a process of facilitating the implementation of the Articlewith technical assistance of the United Nations (UNAMI/Baghdad) to theauthorities involved, including the High Committee for Implementation ofArticle 140.

My response was:

So we can assume they'll take the maximum time of six months for preparations - so no Kirkuk referendum before 31st June 2008 - and it'll then take at least a month to get things going and probably three - so around 31st September as a probable referendum date. No later really because we spoke to Nechirvan Barzani about it and he was outraged (in a polite sort of way) when we suggested we were in for a full year's delay.

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