PUK takes major losses in Kurdistan elections
The centre-left Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) strengthened its position in the 111 seat Kurdistan national Assembly in the elections which took place on 21st September according to preliminary results released yesterday.
The KDP, with 98.5% of the votes counted appears to have increased its tally of seats by eight to 38 of the 111 seats and won 38.3% of the vote. The centre-left Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) whose leader, Jalal Talabani, is President of Iraq slipped into third place, dropping 12 seats to 17 seats and 17.3% of the vote.
Meanwhile the Movement for Change led by Nawshirwan Mustafa which has been seeking to break up the government monopoly and is supported by many young people because of its anti-corruption stance, came second with 24 seats and 23.8% of the vote.
Two other parties made it into the National Assembly; the right wing Kurdistan Islamic Union with nine seats (up from six in 2008) and another right wing party, the Kurdistan Islamic Group (Komal) which took six seats, an increase of two seats.
PUK is expected to continue its alliance with the KDP, but with the drop of seats it is clear that a third party will be needed in the coalition and that the dynamics will change. The Movement for Change is expected to be locked out of government once more.