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Iraqi Kurdish opposition party calls on Barzani to step down

Gorran blames Barzani for 'disaster' facing Kurds after loss of oil-rich city of Kirkuk
Iraq's Kurdistan region president, Massoud Barzani, (R), attends an assembly last month with Kosrat Rasoul Ali (L), first deputy for secretary general of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party (AFP)

Gorran, a main opposition party to Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, called on Sunday for his resignation, and for a "national salvation government" to be formed to deal with the crisis pitting the Kurds against the central Iraqi authorities.

Gorran, or the Change Movement, blamed Barzani for the "disaster" facing the Kurds after the loss on 16 October of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, captured by Iraqi forces in retaliation against a Kurdish independence referendum held last month in spite of warnings from Baghdad and neighbouring Iran and Turkey.

"The Kurdistan presidency must be dissolved and a national salvation government be formed to overcome the current situation," said a statement published by the party leadership after meeting in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniya.

Gorran supports the right of Iraq's Kurds for self-determination but it opposed holding the referendum on 25 September, saying the timing was ill-chosen.

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