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Differences Deepen Between Iraqi Kurdish Parties

Differences between the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan are coming to the surface, Abdel Hamid Zebari writes.
Members of the new Iraqi Parliament attend a session at the Parliament headquarters in Baghdad, November 11, 2010. Iraq's fractious politicians have agreed to return Shi'ite Nuri al-Maliki as prime minister, ending an eight-month deadlock that raised fears of renewed sectarian war, but leaving some Sunnis sceptical he can forge national unity. The pact on top government posts brings together Shi'ites, Sunnis and Kurds in a power-sharing arrangement similar to the last Iraqi government and could help prevent
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In the Kurdistan region of Iraq, there is a strategic alliance between the two main parties: the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) led by the Kurdistan region’s president Massoud Barzani and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) led by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. But the results of the Iraqi 2010 elections changed to some extent the balance of power between the two parties, even though the Kurdish leaders have not admitted that. Nevertheless, this change in the balance of power has begun to come to the surface as the country approaches new elections.

In the 2005 Iraqi provincial elections, the KDP and the PUK participated on separate lists, but for the Iraqi and Kurdistan parliamentary elections, which also happened in 2005, they were on a joint list.

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