Iraqi Kurdistan a Dictatorship?

By Hiwa Barznjy.

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Elections will held in Iraqi Kurdistan in September. And despite the fact that local laws say he can’t, the current president may run for the job again. Local MPS are hatching several cunning plans to get around the law.

On April 18, the President of Iraqi Kurdistan Massoud Barzani, announced that parliamentary and presidential elections would be held in the semi autonomous region in September this year. And many others said that Barzani would also be running for President again, come September 21.

But there’s a problem there. According to current laws in the semi-autonomous region, the President of the region may only remain in power for two terms. A term is four years. And Barzani will complete his two terms in the middle of this year.

Yet many senior politicians in Iraqi Kurdistan – including the Barzani’s party, the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s spokesperson, Jafar Ibrahim Eminki – have said that they are trying to get around the law in order to allow Barzani to be nominated for a third term as President. Senior politicians from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan have also said that they don’t have anyone to replace Barzani.

Generally power is shared between two major parties in Iraqi Kurdistan – the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) – and in practice the region is basically split into two separate zones of influence, with local administrations in Erbil and Dohuk controlled by the KDP and the Sulaymaniyah area mostly administered by the PUK.

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