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Iraq's elections weaken PKK in Sinjar

Iraq's October elections may have strengthened the Iraqi Kurdistan administration's hands in the Yazidi enclave of Sinjar.
A displaced Yazidi casts her vote for the parliamentary elections at a camp some 15 kilometers from the northern city of Dahuk in the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan region, on Oct. 8, 2021.
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DIYARBAKIR, Turkey — The ongoing power struggle between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP, the main political group ruling Iraqi Kurdistan) and armed Kurdish militants from Turkey over the Iraqi Yazidi enclave, Sinjar, has extended to the Iraqi elections, with the vote resulting in a surprising debacle for the latter. 

The KDP won all three seats in the town, defying Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)-linked groups’ attempts to undercut the KDP’s campaigns in the run-up to the Oct. 10 elections. In some instances, KDP candidates were prevented from traveling to the region. While PKK-linked groups are now pushing for the cancellation of those results, analysts widely believe the militant group, which is on Turkey’s terror list, is short of sufficient support in the mountainous town that could turn the tables in its favor. 

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