September 21, 2013
JUST ANOTHER ISLAMIST DEMOCRACY:
Reformists hold out hope as Iraq's Kurdistan votes for parliament (Deutsche-Welle, 9/21/13)
Posted by Orrin Judd at September 21, 2013 6:36 AMA total of 1,129 candidates, including 166 women, are running Saturday for parliament's 111 seats, 30 percent of which are reserved for women. The parliament reserves 11 more for members of the autonomous region's religious and ethnic minorities, including Yezidis, Turkmen, and Assyrian and Chaldean Christians.For the first time since 1992, Kurdistan's two main factions, regional President Massoud Barzani's Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) - projected to win the plurality of the seats - and Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), have competed against each other. A third contender, the Gorran Movement founded in 2009 by Nawshirwan Mustafa, also hopes to make a strong showing in the polls. Two smaller Islamic parties - the Kurdistan Islamic Union and the Islamic League - are hoping to make gains as well.In the 2005 and 2009 elections, the KDP and PUK ran on a joint list. They have also rotated the region's premiership on a two-year basis. That agreement, too, has now ended.