by Idris Okuducu
Previously opposing the planned Sept. 25 referendum on Kurdish regional independence, Kurdistan Islamic Society Party (Komel) on Sunday called for voters to say “yes”.
Komel said in a written statement that there would be a possibility of an internal conflict due to the referendum decision not being taken under a legal framework, but by the political parties.
The statement said they would vote yes in the polls because they supported independence “like every Kurd”.
"In the event of a possible internal conflict and unfortunate consequences that would not be desired, the responsible are those who have decided for a referendum," the statement quoted.
Opposing Movement for Change (Goran Party) said in a written statement that they have left the decision to their citizens to vote yes or no.
Monday’s non-binding referendum will see Iraqis in the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG)-held areas -- and in a handful of territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad -- vote whether to secede from Iraq.
Baghdad, Turkey, Iran, the U.S., and the UN have all spoken out against the poll, saying it will only distract from the ongoing fight against Daesh and further destabilize the region.
Iraq’s central government has threatened to intervene militarily if the vote leads to violence.
The KRG’s leader, Masoud Barzani, has said a 'Yes' win would not result in an automatic declaration of independence but would simply lead to further negotiations with Baghdad.