Iraq issues arrest warrants for Kurdish vote organizers

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s federal courts have issued arrest warrants for the members of the Kurdish electoral commission that organized last month’s independence referendum.

Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s office said Wednesday it would execute the warrants, but it is unclear how it would do so as federal forces do not operate in the autonomous Kurdish region.

The arrest warrants are the latest move by Baghdad to pressure Kurdish authorities to disavow the referendum, in which more than 90 percent of voters supported independence. Al-Abadi’s government says the vote was unconstitutional.

It was a non-binding vote and Kurdish authorities have not declared statehood.

Earlier this week, Baghdad demanded Kurdish-based cellular operators move their headquarters to Baghdad. It also ordered the restoration of a pipeline bypassing the Kurdish region to export oil to Turkey.

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