Iraqi Kurds gear up for elections hoping to end turmoil

By REUTERS
September 11, 2018 19:39
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ERBIL, Iraq - Campaigning began in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan on Tuesday for parliamentary elections that Kurds hope will help end months of turmoil, a year after the region of six million made a failed bid to break away from the rest of the country.

Iraqi Kurds will go to the polls to elect members of parliament for their region, which gained self-rule in 1991. Hundreds of candidates are vying for seats in the 111-seat house. The current parliament was elected in 2013.

Kurds, who had enjoyed unprecedented autonomy for years, voted overwhelmingly for independence in the 2017 plebiscite, which was opposed by Baghdad and Iraq's neighboring countries, Turkey, Iran and Western powers.

Opposition parties have expressed concern for months that turnout would be affected by fallout from May's national election which was marred by allegations of fraud in Kurdish areas. At least one opposition party was boycotting the election.

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