Published September 21, 2013
IRBIL, Iraq – Voters in Iraq's Kurdish north are making their way to polling stations for parliamentary elections in which smaller parties are hoping to challenge the self-rule region's two major political movements.
Voting got under way Saturday for the Kurdistan Regional Government's 111-seat legislature, the fourth such election since 1992.
The two parties that dominate Kurdish politics, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and the Kurdistan Democratic Party of regional President Masoud Barzani, are hoping to fend off challenges by smaller opposition parties. One known as Gorran, or Change, had a surprisingly strong showing in the 2009 vote. It's competing again with a campaign attacking alleged corruption and nepotism.
The results are unlikely to significantly affect the Kurds' push for greater regional autonomy or ongoing disputes with Baghdad.