election fever in iraqi kurdistan

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The legislative elections in Iraq will take place on April 30, and throughout the entirety of the country, 328 seats are up for grabs. The newly elected members will then vote for the Iraqi President and Prime Minister. Kurdistan is one of three regions that will vote, each of which has its own political parties, the other two being the Sunni and the Shi’ite regions.

While I was traveling around, most every Kurdish town and city looked as if a festival was in town or a new supermarket was opening. Flags of various colors representing the three main political parties in the region were plastered everywhere along with thousands of posters with pictures of the hundreds of candidates running for office. This election is definitely not for the attention deficit among us, and many of the locals I talked to were annoyed at the sheer volume of unsightly political advertising.

The three main parties are the Kurdistan Democratic Party [yellow flags], a Kurdish nationalist party with an ideology referred to as “liberal conservative;” Change List [blue flags], a Kurdish nationalist reformist party; and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan [green flags], a Kurdish nationalist and social democratic party.

Good luck to everyone – just please be sure to take your flags and pictures down on May 1!

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