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Not all Kurds on board with Kurdish independence vote

Some residents of Sulaimaniyah are fed up with the Iraqi Kurdistan government's poor management of the economy and may take their frustration out in the upcoming independence referendum.
Protesters, who are mostly school teachers, demonstrate on a street in Sulaymaniyah province, Iraq, against the Kurdish regional government for what the protesters said was a delay in payment of their salaries, due to the economic crisis in the Iraqi Kurdish region September 27, 2016.   REUTERS/Ako Rasheed   - RTSPOCJ

SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq — The majority of Kurdish parties agreed June 7 to hold a referendum for independence in September. While outside pressure to stop the controversial referendum has been constant, the deadliest blow might, however, come from within. Ordinary Kurds, in particular those in Sulaimaniyah, are angry about the government's mismanagement of the economy, and many appear ready to express their dissatisfaction in their approach to the referendum.

Over the last two months, Al-Monitor has spoken with several dozen people, primarily in Sulaimaniyah, to gauge their views on the upcoming referendum. Those interviewed include police officers, teachers, peshmerga, shopkeepers, taxi drivers and civil servants, the overwhelming majority of whom reject the referendum outright. They consider it a ploy by the current leadership to distract attention from its failure to efficiently run the government and manage the economy for the last 25 years, since the establishment of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in 1992.

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