Baghdad, Oct 2: The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) won the regional parliamentary elections in Iraq’s autonomous region of Kurdistan, Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) said Wednesday.
The KDP, led by the region’s leader Masoud Barzani, won 38 seats out of the 111-seat parliament in the elections which were held Sep 21 in the three regional provinces of Arbil, Sulaimaniyah and Duhuk, Xinhua reported.
The opposition Gorran (or change) movement garnered 24 seats, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) led by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani got 18 seats, the electoral commission said in a press conference in the region’s capital Arbil.
The commission also said that the Kurdistan Islamic Union won 10 seats and the Islamic Group got six seats.
Talabani’s PUK and Barzani’s KDP have long dominated politics in the three-province autonomous region of northern Iraq; however, the latest results showed that the Gorran movement won decisively in Sulaimaniyah province, which is the home base of the PUK.
In the last parliamentary vote in the Kurdistan region, which took place in 2009, the KDP and PUK ran on a single list and finished first, while Gorran, a breakaway faction of Talabani’s party, came second.
In the latest polls, the PUK has faced increasingly tough competition from Gorran as well as Islamic and Communist groupings in its home base of Sulaimaniyah.
Observers see that the PUK has been largely affected by the absence of Talabani who has been in Germany recovering from a stroke since the end of last year.