Massoud Barzani. Photograph: CodeCarvings Piczard/Free Community Edition

October 29, 2017 Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani is to resign, Reuters has reported. In a letter, Barzani has informed the Kurdish parliament that he will not seek an extension to his presidential term expiring in early November.

Barzani is stepping down only weeks after the independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan. The referendum backfired, prompting the Iraqi government to impose crippling political and economic restrictions on the region. Iran, Turkey and the U.S. also expressed their strong opposition to the ballot.

Barzani is reportedly against the nomination of a family member or a close relative to replace him. However, some Iraqi sources say that as a condition for his resignation, he has asked the Kurdish parliament to support the nomination of his nephew, Nechirvan Barzani, as his replacement.

Nechirvan Barzani is the current prime minister of the Kurdish Regional Government.The majority of Kurdish MPs have reportedly accepted Barzani’s resignation.