Saturday, August 8, 2009

Full Kurdish Election Results

The 2009 Kurdistan parliamentary and presidential elections resulted in the first real challenge to the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). While their Kurdistan List still came in first with 69.57% of the vote, parties that claimed to be reformers received 39.43%. While most of the smaller parties in this group didn't qualify for seats in the 111-member Kurdish parliament, the largest one, the Change List, will control just under one-quarter of the legislature. The major reason for their success is that many Kurds wanted a real opposition to try to force the KDP-PUK alliance to end its corruption, provide greater transparency, allow more dissenting opinions, and develop the region.

The competition between the Kurdistan List and the Change List was intense. The Change List claimed that their followers were being fired from their government jobs by the PUK and KDP before the vote. A U.S. officer confirmed one such example when a Kurdish border patrol commander and his entire unit were fired by the PUK peshmerga because he supported the Change List. The ruling parties were also accused of hiring 2,500 government workers after a four year hiring freeze, all of whom were expected to vote for the Kurdistan List in return. The Change List and Kurdistan List accused each other of tearing down the others posters. In early June 2009 the Minister of Peshmerga was accused of attacking Change supporters at a rally. Finally, on election day, the opposition parties claimed that PUK and KDP followers were voting without IDs, blocking opposition observers from polling stations, campaigning after deadlines, and voting more than once. Afterwards the Change List said that their offices in Irbil were attacked by the KDP, and there were reports of violence between different supporters in Sulaymaniya.

As reported before, these election results are likely to have far ranging effects not only upon Kurdish politics, strengthening Barzani against Talabani, and creating the first real opposition, but also upon national ones, perhaps weakening the Kurds' unified position in Baghdad, and offering a new partner in the Change List for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in the parliamentary balloting.

Kurdistan Regional Government Presidential Election Results
Massoud Barzani – Head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and Re-Elected KRG President
Kamal Mirawdeli – Independent scholar who won a majority in Sulaymaniya
Halo Ibrahim Ahmed – Head of the Progress List and brother-in-law of the leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. His father was a famous PUK leader, and Halo was kicked out of the party for forming his own reform faction in 2008
Safin Sheikh Mohammed – Independent businessman and former PUK member who quit in 1995 over the KDP-PUK civil war to form his own party
Hussein Karmiani – Another former PUK member who left the party in 2005 and runs agriculture business

Seats Awarded In Kurdish Parliament – 111 seats total
Kurdish List 59 seats
Change List 25 seats
Service And Reform List 13 seats
Islamic Movement of Kurdistan List 2 seats
Social Justice and Freedom List 1 seat
Turkmen had a 5 seat quota
Turkmen Democratic Movement In Kurdistan 3 seats
Turkmen Reform List 1 seat
Irbil Turkmen List 1 seat
Christians had a 5 seat quota
National Council of Chaldean Syriac Assyrians 3 seats
Al-Rafidain List 2 seats
Armenians had a 1 seat quota
Aram Shahine Dawood Bakoyan

Kurdistan Parliamentary Election Results
Kurdistan List – KDP-PUK Coalition. Ran together in previous two Kurdish elections. PUK is now the weaker of the two parties as they lost in their own home province of Sulaymaniya
Change List – Led by former PUK co-founder Nishurwan Mustafa, media magnet. Won Sulaymaniya and will be the first real opposition party if it can keep its disparate group of followers together
Service And Reform List – Coalition of Islamists and Leftists, the Kurdistan Islamic Union, the Islamic Group of Kurdistan, the Kurdistan Socialist Democratic Party, and Future Party. The Islamists were the previous opposition to the ruling parties, but had a history of cooperating with them
Islamic Movement of Kurdistan List – Formed by Sunni mullahs in 1979 who call for Islamic government and greater transparency
Turkmen Democratic Movement In Kurdistan – Calls for Turkmen unity, annexation of Kirkuk, and is opposed to Turkish influence. Won 3 of the 5 seats set aside for Turkmen
Social Justice and Freedom List – Leftist coalition of the Kurdistan Communist Party, the Kurdistan Toilers Party, the Kurdistan Independent Work Party, the Kurdistan Pro-Democratic Party, and the Democratic Movement of Kurdistan People that calls for equal rights and secularism
National Council of Chaldean Syriac Assyrians – Calls for the Ninewa Plains, a historically Christian area, to be annexed by Kurdistan. Is assured of at least one seat as 5 were reserved for Christians
Turkmen Reform List – Wants more power for Turkmen and is against Turkish influence. Won 1 of 5 seats set aside for Turkmen
Al-Rafidain List – Wants a greater role for Christians, especially in the security forces
Aram Shahine Dawood Bakoyan – An Armenian politician assured of at least one seat as 2 were set aside for Armenians
Irbil Turkmen List – Wants Kirkuk to be annexed and is against Turkish influence. Won the last of 5 seats set aside for Turkmen
Kurdistan Toilers and Workers Party List – Calls for rule of law in Kurdistan
Aertex Morses Sargisyan – Independent Armenian politician likely to receive other seat reserved for Armenians
Kurdistan Conservative Party – A tribal party that has ties with the PUK
Kurdistan Reform Movement – Led by Abdul Barzani, cousin of Massoud Barzani. Calls for an end to corruption, rule of law, and human rights
Independent Youth List – Only includes ten people who call for more rights for the young
Kurdistan Democratic National Party List – Calls for Kurdish unity throughout the region, plus more housing and women and youth rights in Kurdistan
Unified Chaldean List – Made up of the Chaldean Union Party and the Chaldean National Council
Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Autonomy List
Kurdistan Bright Future List – Wants separation of political parties from administration and justice system
Eshkhan Malkin Sargisyan – Independent Armenian candidate
Progression List – Led by Jalal Talabani's brother-in-law and presidential candidate Halo Ibrahim Ahmed. Call for better standard of living
Iraqi Constitutional Party – National party founded by Interior Minister Jawad Bolani
Independent Turkmen List – Calls for Kirkuk to be an independent region


Bakri, Nada, "Challengers Face an Uphill Battle in Elections in Iraq's Kurdish North," Washington Post, 7/19/09

Carpenter, J. Scott and Ali, Ahmed, "Iraqi Kurds Go to the Polls: Is Change Possible?" Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 7/23/09

Cocks, Tim, "Before polls, Iraq Kurds fret about graft not land," Reuters, 7/14/09

Druzin, Heath, "Iraqi border patrol officers fired by rival party supporters," Stars and Stripes, 7/25/09

Hamad, Qassim Khidhir, "kurdish election lists," Niqash, 6/30/09

- "kurds seek new political opposition," Niqash, 7/16/09

Institute for War & Peace Reporting, "KDP Flexes Muscles in Dohuk," 7/21/09

Kurdistan Regional Government, "Electoral Commission announces final results of Kurdistan Region elections," 8/8/09

Mahmoud, Shakhwan, "fired and hired for their political beliefs?" Niqash, 7/20/09
- "opposition claim kurdish election fraud," Niqash, 8/4/09

Monsters & Critics, "Official Iraqi Kurdish election results confirm incumbent victories," 8/8/09

Muhammad, Sardar, "kurdish presidential candidates," Niqash, 7/9/09

Rath, Tiare, "PUK and KDP Face Challenge," Institute for War & Peace Reporting, 7/17/09

Reuters, "Iraq's Kurdish Opposition Allege Poll Violations," 7/26/09

Sands, Phil, "Victory for Kurdistan opposition," The National, 7/30/09

United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, "UNAMI Focus," July 2009

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