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KDP May Run Alone In Iraqi Kurdistan Elections

The two major parties in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq have shared power since 2005, but some believe that President Massoud Barzani and his party are planning to go it alone following upcoming parliamentary elections.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani (R) speaks with Kurdish President Masoud Barazani (L) during his visit to Dokan, 290 km (180 miles) northeast of Baghdad July 29, 2009. Ruling parties in Iraqi Kurdistan will retain control of the Kurdish parliament after weekend polls, preliminary results showed on Wednesday. An opposition movement, campaigning against corruption and for political reforms, took a surprise 23.8 percent, electoral officials said in the Kurdish capital Arbil. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari (IRAQ POLITICS

A prominent leader from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), led by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, revealed that the party planned to maintain its strategic alliance with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) during the parliamentary elections scheduled for Sept. 21 in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, despite the fact that the two parties will participate via electoral lists that are independent from one another.

Widespread participation and fierce competition are expected, yet reliable sources confirmed to Al-Monitor that Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani is working toward a comfortable majority in the new parliament to allow him to form a government without the PUK, thus pushing Talabani, who is still recuperating from a stroke suffered in late 2012, from the Kurdish political scene.

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