Iraqi Kurdish leader to devolve powers after thorny vote

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Kurdish presidential elections scheduled to be held in November have been postponed indefinitely.

Sources in the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan said Peshmerga forces affiliated with the sons of Masoud Barzani are fiercely fighting to stay in control of the Syrian Rmelan and Karatchok oil fields and the town of Mahmoudiyah which oil is smuggled through in agreement with the Kurdistan Workers' Party and the PJAK forces affiliated with the Iranian Kurdistan Freedom Party.

Barzani's step came after the military and political defeat that touched the Region following the September 25 referendum on independence, opposed by Baghdad, Ankara and Tehran, in addition to the global community.

Mr Barzani said earlier this year that he did not intend to stand in the November election, but had been widely expected to seek another term.

Critics say the September 25 independence referendum, orchestrated by the 71-year-old president in the face of opposition from Baghdad and worldwide allies, has weakened the position of Iraq's Kurds despite an overwhelming "yes" vote. The vote was overwhelmingly for independence and triggered the military action by the Baghdad government and threats from neighbouring Turkey and Iran.

Masoud Barzani is the first president of Iraqi Kurdistan elected in 2005. Iraqi government launched an offensive which led to Kurds losing to Baghdad large swathes of oilfields in the disputed province of Kirkuk.

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Macro made the remarks during a phone conversation with Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi on Saturday. "We tried to stop bloodshed but the Iraqi forces and Popular Mobilization Front (Shi'ite militias) kept advancing, using USA weapons", he said.

Meanwhile, following deadly clashes between Iraqi forces and Peshmerga forces, the worldwide community seems anxious as there are efforts on several levels to defuse the crisis between Baghdad and Erbil. In 2013 he refused to abandon the post, though his mandate expired.

Kurdish MP Iden Maarouf said parliament will meet on Sunday to see how best to "redistribute the president's powers" among the legislative, executive and judicial authorities, AFP reported.

Iraqi forces and the Peshmerga started a second round of talks on Sunday to resolve a conflict over control of the Kurdistan region's border crossings, Iraqi state TV said.

Abadi demanded on Thursday that the Kurds declare their referendum void, rejecting the KRG offer to suspend its independence push to resolve a crisis through talks.