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Kurdistan region of Iraq to hold legislative elections on October 20

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The authorities of the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq have announced that legislative elections will be held on October 20. 

Originally scheduled for the fall of 2022, the elections to elect the hundred deputies of the Kurdistan Region's parliament have been repeatedly postponed © Mena Today 

The authorities of the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq have announced that legislative elections will be held on October 20. 

This announcement comes after multiple delays and political disputes that have postponed the elections for nearly two years.

Originally scheduled for the fall of 2022, the elections to elect the hundred deputies of the Kurdistan Region's parliament have been repeatedly postponed. They were set to take place on June 10, but were again delayed.

"The parliamentary elections of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq will be held on October 20," announced Dilshad Shahab, the spokesperson for the Kurdish presidency, reading a decree from President Nechirvan Barzani, in a televised address.

In February, the Iraqi judiciary decided to reduce the number of seats in the Kurdish parliament from 111 to 100, effectively removing a quota reserved for Christian and Turkmen minorities. This decision displeased the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), a historic party that dominates power in the autonomous region.

Following this verdict, the KDP announced a boycott of the elections and did not register any candidates, leading to a new political stalemate in a country where major decisions are often negotiated by the main political forces.

The judicial authorities eventually reinstated five reserved seats for minorities among the 100 deputies. Consequently, the KDP decided to reverse its boycott and participate in the elections.

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), the KDP's main rival and another significant player in Kurdish politics, has repeatedly criticized the election delays.

Since gaining autonomy in 1991, the Kurdistan Region has positioned itself as a stable area conducive to foreign investment in Iraq. 

However, activists and opposition groups criticize the region for issues including corruption, clientelism by ruling clans, and suppression of dissenting voices.

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