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Talabani's Party Stung by Loss In Iraqi Kurdistan Elections

The upcoming meeting of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in January 2014 may be an opportunity to elect new leadership.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani speaks at a news conference following his meeting with Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and USAID Administrator Ambassador Randall L. Tobias in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad May 25, 2006. REUTERS/Ali Haider/Pool - RTR1DQND

ERBIL, Iraqi Kurdistan — The political party of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who is recovering from a December 2012 stroke, is facing internal problems and challenges after the party’s poor showing in the Sept. 21 parliamentary elections of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), when it fell to the third place. The loss caused a power vacuum inside the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).

The PUK won 18 seats, while the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) won 38 seats, and the PUK offshoot Gorran ("Change") Party won 24, including a majority in Sulaimaniyah, a longtime PUK stronghold.

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