Two days later, a further session resulted in decisions to close Iraqi Kurdish border crossings and stop international flights into Kurdish airports.
One group of Shiite Muslim politicians led by former prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, tried to organize a vote of no confidence in the country’s president, Fouad Massoum, an Iraqi Kurdish politician. He was accused of not objecting to the referendum. Rumours started to spread that al-Maliki wanted Massoum’s job.
This campaign also suggested banning Iraqi Kurdish politicians from attending any further sessions of parliament in Baghdad. Somewhat worryingly there has been genuine discussion of the legalities of this. But should this happen, there would be a major crisis as the 62 Iraqi Kurdish MPs make up around a fifth of all MPs.
Despite heated debate on electoral legislation, parts of the provincial elections law have been passed. Around 46 articles have made it through the process with 11 still outstanding. One of these is particularly controversial as it would involve the holding of elections in Kirkuk.
The northern city, which is a disputed territory and also home to a Kurdish, Turkmen and Arab locals, is often spoken about as a “flashpoint” because of its location and demography.
An even more complex issue is the election of new members for the IHEC. The current IHEC’s mandate expired last month. Parliament formed a subcommittee to start to select new members at the beginning of this year but has been unable to get close to nominations.
As usual there are issues about who gets represented. “All the people on the subcommittee are members of larger parties who have agreed to share the nine seats on the IHEC, behind closed doors,” complains Faeq al-Sheikh Ali, an MP from a smaller, liberal party.