Nechirvan Barzani has been sworn in as president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in an inauguration ceremony that took place in the Kurdistan region’s capital, Erbil. Kurdish leaders said that the move would further cement the dominance of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
The closure meant that Yazidis in Sinjar, who wanted to travel to Dahuk, home to their celebrated Lalesh temple and tens of thousands of other Yazidis uprooted by IS’ genocidal spree, had to spend over five hours navigating hostile terrain.
On Thursday, Kurdish Leader Masoud Barzani, head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), met with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd al-Mahdi in Baghdad. This is Barzani's first visit to Baghdad in two years, signaling an improvement in the Baghdad-Erbil relations.
On Sunday 30th of September, the Kurdish autonomous region held an election. Voters chose from more than 700 candidates to win 111 seats in Kurdistan’s Parliament, a year after a failed independence referendum to separate from Iraq.
After years of stagnant politics, unpaid salaries and corruption, Kurds have lost faith in politics. This shrunk the turnout of registered Kurdish voters for the upcoming parliamentary elections. However, observers say that this election could disrupt the delicate balance of power between the main Kurdish parties.
The two largest Iraqi Kurdish political parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), are likely to agree eventually on a presidential candidate, but in the meantime several hats are in the ring.