Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Official Results Announced for Iraq’s Kurdistan, Big Win For KDP

(AFP)

The Election Commission finally announced the official results of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) balloting. The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) won a big victory, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) recovered from its embarrassing finish in 2013, while some of the opposition parties are claiming fraud.

The two major parties, the KDP and PUK continued their domination of Kurdish politics due in part to a divided opposition. The KDP was the biggest winner taking in 45 seats. That was up from 38 it won in the last KRG elections in 2013. However, the party received less votes with 688,070 in 2018 versus 743,984 in 2013, a 9% decrease. Kurdistan like the rest of Iraq has seen a decline in voting with disillusionment with the ruling parties as well as a call for a boycott this year. The PUK also did relatively well with 21 seats vs 18 seats in 2013. That was much better than its humiliating third place finish in 2013 when it came in behind Change. That part won 12 seats losing half of its 24 from 2013. After its founder Nawshirwan Mustafa passed away, Change has been suffering for a leadership crisis, and its inability to make any meaningful changes within Kurdistan has cost it. New Generation won 8 seats, the Kurdistan Islamic Group 7, the Reform list that included the Kurdistan Islamic Union and the Kurdistan Islamic Movement took 5, and the Modern Coalition and Azadi that included the Communists had 1 seat each.

For the opposition parties this was another disappointing finish after the national vote earlier this year in May. Both times they did not do nearly as well as they had hoped. That was because they ran separately instead of a united list as they originally talked about. Personal differences and individual based parties hindered a better showing. As a result, Change rejected the results, the Kurdistan Islamic Union called foul claiming there was fraud, while New Generation compared the election to an one held by Saddam in 2002 which no one took seriously. The KDP and PUK did cheat in the May balloting, and probably do so in the KRG, but the opposition’s own problems also contributed to their showing.

2018 KRG Election Results
KDP 45 seats
PUK 21 seats
Change 12 seats
New Generation 8 seats
Kurdistan Islamic Group 7 seats
Reform List 5 seats
Modern Coalition 1 seat
Azadi List 1 seat

Minority Quota Seats
National Union Coalition 3 seats
Turkmen Development Party 2 seats
National List 1 seat
Turkmen Reform Party 1 seat
Turkmen Front 1 seat
Rafidain List 1 seat
Assyrian Syriac Chaldean Popular Council 1 seat
Armenian independent 1 seat

KRG Election Results 2018 vs 2013
Party
2018 Seats
2013 Seats
KDP
45
38
PUK
21
18
Change
12
24
New Generation
8
-
Kurdistan Islamic Group
7
6
Towards Reform
5
-

SOURCES

NRT, “Gorran Rejects Results Of Kurdistan Parliamentary Election,” 10/22/18
- “Kurdistan Islamic Union Doesn’t Accept Results Of Election: Statement,” 10/21/18
- “New Generation Rejects Final Results Of Kurdistan Parliamentary Election,” 10/21/18

Rudaw, “Election commission publishes official KRG election results,” 10/20/18
- “UPDATE: PUK nominates Barham Salih as sole candidate for Iraq presidency,” 9/19/18

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