Iraqi Kurdistan Announces New Elections, Faces Financial Sanctions

Iraq Will Stop All Foreign Currency Transfers to Kurdish Banks

Election officials in Iraqi Kurdistan have announced that they intend to hold both presidential and parliamentary votes for the region on November 1, aiming to bolster the government after last week’s referendum on secession from Iraq.

Kurdistan voted overwhelmingly in favor of secession, with over 92% yes votes on heavy turnout. Iraqi officials have vowed to bring the Kurds back under control, and has been supported by Turkey and Iran in possible military action against them.

Iraq has already closed Kurdistan’s airports and is in the process of seizing their border crossings. The Iraqi central bank today announced new financial sanctions, including a full stop of all foreign currency transfers into Kurdish banks.

As far as the election goes, President Barzani is a real question mark, as Kurdish law restricts him to two terms in office, and he’s already on his third term, extending it because of the ISIS war. Given the overwhelming support for secession, it’s safe to say that’s a winning issue virtually all major Kurdish politicians will be emphasizing.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.