One of the dominant Kurdish parties in northern Iraq said it would not recognize the results of Sunday’s parliamentary election, injecting political uncertainty into a region still demoralized by a failed independence bid.
The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) said its decision to ignore the results, which have yet to be announced, was based on what it described as fraud in the voting process.
The PUK is competing with its long-time rival the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in the election as discontent grows with perceived corruption and economic hardship.
With a weak opposition, the political dynasties were expected to extend their power-sharing arrangement in the land of six million people, which gained semi-autonomous status after the 1991 Gulf War.
Veteran KDP leader Masoud Barzani has managed to retain a support base even though he led an independence bid that brought humiliation and hardship for the Kurds after military and economic retaliation from Baghdad.
Splits within the PUK could give the KDP an upper hand in their power-sharing arrangement, which has been fraught with tensions.
While criticism of the ruling Kurdish establishment - dominated for decades by the Barzani and the Talabani families - has grown more vocal, a weak opposition means many voters may stick to traditional leaders.
“I don’t know who I will vote for, but our family has always supported the KDP. My son will pick a candidate for me,” said Halima Ahmed, 65, as she walked with a cane in the city of Erbil, the seat of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Preliminary results are expected within 72 hours. There are 111 seats being contested in the election, including 11 reserved for ethnic minorities.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر