Pro-independence ruling party wins Iraqi Kurdistan polls | News | DW | 21.10.2018
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Pro-independence ruling party wins Iraqi Kurdistan polls

The ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party has won parliamentary polls in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, the election commission says. The party held an independence referendum last year, angering the central Iraqi government.

The government of Iraq's semi-autonomous northern Kurdish region said on Sunday that the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) had won the most seats in regional parliamentary elections and was poised to take the helm in the next administration.

The election committee said that the KDP won 45 seats in the 111-seat parliament, 12 short of an outright majority. Its current junior coalition party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), came in second with 21 seats, meaning that the two parties are likely to continue sharing power as they have done for almost three decades.

The largest opposition party, Gorran, or Movement for Change, managed just 12 seats. It accused the PUK and KDP of vote-rigging and fraud.

Read more: Who are the Kurds?

Complaints of violations

The announcement of the results from the September 30 vote was delayed for three weeks after the elections commission said it was investigating 1,045 complaints about electoral violations.

The KDP was behind a low-turnout independence referendum last year in which a majority of voters cast a ballot in favor of independence from Iraq's central government.

The administration in Baghdad did not recognize the result and expressed its displeasure by retaking control of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and other territories.

tj/jlw (Reuters, AP)

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