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Iraqi Kurdistan parliament approves resignation request of lawmaker Soran Omar

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Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— During its first session in more than three weeks and second since early May, Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament approved on Monday 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.

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.”

Omar had accused Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister and KDP senior official Masrour Barzani of corruption. Omar claims that Masrour Barzani owns a company and a bank.

For many years, transparency organizations, lawmakers, observers, and international organizations have accused the ruling Barzani family, senior Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government KRG officials of corruption and money laundering, especially with regard to expropriation of the Kurdistan’s oil income.

Iraqi Kurdistan is not unified region, it is divided politically and geographically between the KDP led by Massoud Barzani and PUK led by the Talabani’s clan. The capital city of Erbil is under control of Barzani’s KDP forces.
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