Two of the main Kurdish parties have released a joint statement emphasizing that holding referendum for independence is a “national” matter and therefore needs to be discussed and “finalized” in the Kurdish parliament, an institution that has been paralyzed since October 2015. The ruling KDP, which holds the posts of Iraqi Kurdistan Region’s presidency and prime ministry has so far insisted that the long-anticipated referendum does not need a mandate from the Kurdish legislature. With regard to the so-called disputed areas, otherwise defined by the Kurdish authorities as the Kurdistani areas outside the Kurdistan Region, the two sides say that they are for holding a referendum in these places, which importantly include the oil-rich province of Kirkuk, claimed both by Baghdad and Erbil. “The two sides agree on holding referendum in the Kurdistani areas outside the administration of the Kurdistan Region”. The statement added that they discussed a number of pressing issues, including power sharing between the two parties in the provinces of Sulaimani and Halabja in accordance with the agreement they signed last year, paving the way for shared governance in these two provinces. The PUK announced last Wednesday that holding an independence referendum in Kurdistan cannot be realized without reactivating the Kurdish parliament and seeking solutions for the outstanding political problems.