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Iraq's Kurds question motives behind independence vote

Opponents of the Iraq Kurdistan referendum on independence question the real agenda behind the Kurdistan Democratic Party's push for the vote.
A Kurdish flag flutters atop the Citadel of Erbil, northern Iraq June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis - RTX39SEI
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SULAIMANIYAH, Kurdistan Region of Iraq — The political establishment in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq is divided in opposition to and support for holding a referendum on independence and what the government's priorities should otherwise be.

One possible casualty of the dispute is Alaa Talabani, who was relieved of her position as head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan's (PUK) bloc in the Iraqi parliament June 12 as per a decision taken by the PUK’s political bureau. The reason behind her dismissal was not stated in the announcement of it, but some observers believe it was because of Talabani's association with a bloc in the party that opposes the referendum.

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