UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — The Iraqi parliament has rejected Kurdish plans to hold an independence vote.
Kurds in Iraq live primarily in the north and make up around 15 percent of the country’s total population.
The independence referendum, scheduled for September 25, was set to be held in three provinces that make up what is known as Iraqi Kurdistan, an autonomous region.
The Kurdish people are a distinct ethnic group with linguistic, cultural and religious practices that differ from many of their neighbors.
Kurdish leaders had planned the independence vote, but on Tuesday, Sept. 12, Iraq’s parliament rejected it as unconstitutional and a threat to the country’s unity.
One member of parliament said, “Kurdish lawmakers walked out of the session but the decision to reject the referendum was passed by a majority.”
According to Al Jazeera, the Iraqi Kurdish parliament is set to meet Thursday in response to the decision.