Kurdish leader Barzani resigns after independence vote backfires

By Raya Jalabi, Maher Chmaytelli

ERBIL/BAGHDAD Iraq (Reuters) – Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani said he would give up his position as president on Nov. 1, after an independence referendum he championed backfired and triggered a regional crisis.

There was high drama at the Kurdish parliament, which was stormed by armed protesters as it met to approve the veteran leader’s resignation as Kurdish president. Some MPs were barricaded in their offices on Sunday evening.

In a televised address, his first since Iraqi forces launched a surprise offensive to recapture Kurdish-held territory on Oct. 16, Barzani confirmed that he would not extend his presidential term after Nov. 1 “under any conditions”.

Read more at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-kurds-barzani/kurdish-leader-barzani-resigns-after-independence-vote-backfires-idUSKBN1CY0KR