If people in Iraqi Kurdistan are not talking about the referendum on independence then they are discussing the arrival of new political alliance with the potential to change the Kurdish political landscape.
Right now, it may seem as though the Kurdish referendum on independence is the biggest news in the semi-autonomous, northern region. But in fact, there are also other moves afoot that could change the political landscape in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Kurdish politicians have announced that they will hold elections for the region on November 1 this year. This would see the election of the regional parliament and leaders.
Earlier in September one of the region’s most prominent figures, Barham Salih, announced that he was forming a new political alliance. He registered the list, called the Coalition for Democracy and Justice, and then on October 2, he announced in a video that the alliance would compete in the upcoming elections.
Salih is one of Iraq’s most senior, most experienced politicians and has held many of the top jobs in the country, including deputy prime minister of Iraq, prime minister of Iraqi Kurdistan and national minister of planning. Up until recently he was a leading member of one of Iraqi Kurdistan’s two major political parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, or PUK, although he resigned that post when he registered his new political party.