Final results for the Kurdistan parliamentary elections announced
The results are expected to alter the political make-up of the new Cabinet
The ruling party, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), won a majority vote in the September 21 parliamentary election, coming first with 38 seats. The opposition Goran [Change] movement claimed 24 seats to finish second ahead of the PUK, which obtained 18 seats, according to results announced by the Independent High Electoral Committee (IHEC).
The final results were announced by Sarbast Mustafa, the head of the IHEC, at a news conference held in Erbil on October 2.
The IHEC’s final tally of the popular vote showed that the KDP received 743,984 votes, with the main opposition party, the Gorran Movement list, taking second winning place with 476,736 votes.
The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) received 350,500 votes. The PUK, the KDP’s major partner in the previous cabinet, is now the Region’s third party.
The KDP, led by Regional President Massoud Barzani, remains the largest bloc in the parliament, with the Gorran Movement, led by Nawshirwan Mustafa, pushing the PUK, led by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, into third place.
The Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) took 186,741 votes, while the Kurdistan Islamic Group (KIG) came in fifth with 118,399 votes. This has earned the KIU 10 seats, and KIG six seats in the next parliament. The other results were as follows: - Kurdistan Islamic Movement: 21,834 votes (one seat)
- Kurdistan Socialist Democratic Party: 12,501 (one seat)
- Kurdistan Communist Party: 12,329 (one seat)
- Third Direction: 8,681 votes (one seat)
The remaining 11 quota seats were distributed among Kurdistan’s minorities as follows: the Christian lists gained five seats, the Turkmen lists six seats, and the Armenians one seat. The remaining 16 lists that participated in the elections proved unable to win more than 6,000 votes.
The KDP and PUK have ruled the Kurdistan Region by means of a coalition government since 2005 as part of a more wide-ranging deal which also saw them divide top posts in Erbil and Baghdad between them. It is not clear if the change in the results will affect the KDP and PUK>s power-sharing agreement.
Mustafa>s Change Movement, Gorran, campaigned against alleged government corruption and perceived heavy-handedness by private security forces linked to the KDP and PUK.
The PUK>s election campaign faced a particular challenge, with President Talabani out of the political spotlight since December following a reported stroke. In the end, his party won only 18 seats, six fewer than Gorran.
The parliamentary elections were held across the Kurdistan Region on 21 September 2013, with more than 1,000 candidates from 27 political parties plus independents contesting the 111 seats in the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament.
The elections, which took place in Erbil, Sulaimaniya and Duhok provinces on 21 September, were the first for more than 20 years in which the KDP and PUK contested individually. The elections were run on a semi-open list, with the entire region as a single electoral constituency.