The referendum result is legitimate

The Kurdistan Independence Referendum, met with great interest both in the Middle East and across the world since it was announced, has taken place. Although it caused various debates and received criticism for its decision-making, formation and development methods, the referendum was carried out in a transparent manner and on the basis of participatory principles. 

We perceive as legitimate, and also as the manifestation of the will of the people, the announced official result of the referendum, and salute this result. We hereby congratulate the peoples, political parties and administrative bodies of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) who exerted a great effort in the realization of the referendum. 

Both in the final days of the referendum process, and in days following its finalization, statements made and stances adopted by local, regional and global powers, organizations and states show that this issue will, in the coming period, hold decisive significance in terms of regional and global policies. We would like to take this opportunity to underline a few important points:

1. For the will that has manifested itself in the referendum to contribute to social and regional welfare, the development of the culture of democracy and the construction of permanent peace, it is clearly necessary to sustain the dialogue between the KRG and Central Government of Iraq in a peaceful environment. 

2. Developments following the referendum and various reactions have shown that it is highly necessary to hold the National Congress in order to contribute to regional peace and take steps towards the construction of the political, cultural, economic and social unity of the Kurdish people. This opportunity must be seized without further delay. 

3. The social structure of each country in the region is home to different cultures, beliefs, peoples and languages. Thus, any democratic system that is to be established must plan to construct structures suitable to this diversity. The struggle of the Kurdish people to acquire status in the countries it lives in is legitimate, it possesses historical legitimacy. In which form and name, and within the framework of which democratic alliances this status will develop is linked to the social and political structure of each country in the region. 

4. Any “possible” joint military or economic sanction, embargo or blockade to be imposed by countries in the region in reaction to the result of the referendum will not only go against regional and social peace, but will also further complicate already existing problems. These countries should base any action they take on relationships of neighbourhood with the KRG and the peoples of the region, in line with international law. Such a stance would also contribute to the development of their own social peace, and cultures of democracy. 

5. The adoption of military methods instead of the peaceful and democratic steps that should be taken in the political and diplomatic fields will lead to new ethnic and belief-based clashes and tensions in the countries of the region. As we continue with determination our struggle to develop democratic, libertarian and egalitarian social and political relationships in the region and in each country in the region, we once again emphasize that peaceful and democratic methods, dialogue and negotiation remain crucial and essential. 

Peoples’ Democratic Party
Central Executive Board
27 September 2017