By Idris Okuducu
Political parties in provinces controlled by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq will be heading to the country’s parliamentary elections on May 12 amid unstable economic and political conditions.
In 2014’s general election, Kurds, as a second largest population in Iraq, captured 62 seats in 328-seat Iraqi parliament.
KRG’s economy has been in crisis since it took on the central government by selling oil without Baghdad's consent and held a pro-independence referendum, which was also condemned by the international community.
In regard to the worsening political and economic situation, some major parties -- including Goran Movement, Kurdistan Islamic Group, and Kurdistan Islamic Union -- left the coalition government in December 2017. Only Kurdistan Democratic Party, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and Kurdistan Islamic Movement remain in the Erbil government.
Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDF), led by Masoud Barzani, got 25 seats in the Iraqi parliament in the last general election and 38 seats in KRG’s parliament.
The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan has been considered as the strongest party after KDF since it got 21 seats in Baghdad. Some claim the party has been in a crisis after Jalal Talabani, one of the party’s founders, died on October 3, 2017.
Gorran Movement became a main opposition, which targets corruption in the region, holds 9 seats in the Iraqi parliament.
Kurdistan Islamic Union, which is known to have close ties with Muslim Brotherhood, captured four seats in Baghdad. It also has a considerable amount of supporters in Sulaymaniyah and Halabja regions of northern Iraq.
Kurdistan Islamic Group, led by Ali Bapir, got 3 seats in Iraqi capital.