Thursday, May 1, 2014

Iraq’s Kurds Keep One Eye on Iraqi Elections, Another on Local Polls

    Thursday, May 01, 2014   No comments

For the second time in seven months Iraqi Kurds head to the polls on Wednesday, this time to elect new representatives for the Iraqi parliament and provincial councils for their own autonomous Kurdistan Region.

Five major Kurdish parties are vying for voters, with rivalries divided into geographical areas where each party feels it has strongest support.

The largest Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) enjoys a strong popular base in the Kurdish capital of Erbil, where it sits in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), and in Duhok. The Partriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), meanwhile, is most confident in Sulaimani province and the Garmiyan region.

The reformist Change Movement (Gorran), born after breaking away from the PUK in 2009 and newly powerful after beating the PUK in Kurdish legislative elections in September, has supporters across Kurdistan. But its strength also lies in Sulaimani, where it once held the governorship.

The Islamic Union (Yekgirtu) and the Islamic League (Komal) have also entered the election campaign full scale. Yekgirtu has historically fared well in Sulaimani, and to some degree in Duhok. Komal’s voters are seen scattered in Erbil and some of the smaller towns in Sulaimani province.



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