Political Transition in Iraqi Kurdistan Region

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The announcement comes a day after Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani said he would give up his position as president on November 1, after the independence referendum he championed backfired and triggered military action by the Baghdad.

Barzani made the announcement on television Sunday.

The September referendum has left the Iraqi Kurdish region increasingly isolated.

Barzani's request, which was approved by the regional parliament late Sunday, was to distribute his presidential powers among the Kurdish prime minister, the Kurdish parliament and the judiciary. They attacked lawmakers and reporters while a crowd outside parliament waved Kurdish flags.

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Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and coalition forces had controlled the territory in northern Iraq for years after they pushed out Islamic State, or IS, militants.

In his statement, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said the central government is closely monitoring what he described as "attempts to create chaos and disorder" in Irbil and Dahuk, two cities in the Kurdish region.

Al-Abadi went on to say that the central government would provide public security and protect citizens' interests. This decision represents an act of statesmanship during a hard period.

Iraqi Kurdish political parties opposed to Kurdish president Masoud Barzani have reported attacks on their offices in several cities, hours after the leader of the Kurdish autonomous region announced his resignation.

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James Jeffery is with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a former diplomat.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi government responded to the referendum by a number of punitive measures, including a campaign to seize back positions held by Kurdish forces since 2014.

"If he steps down then that will open the door to the step of annulling the referendum vote because that is the demand of both the Abadi government and all of the neighbors".

"Three million votes for Kurdistan independence created history and can not be erased", Mr Barzani said, bitterly accusing his political rivals of "treason" for giving up the contested oil-rich city of Kirkuk to central government troops in the fighting sparked by the 25 September vote. Within weeks, a backlash from the vote revealed Barzani had miscalculated.

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