Kurdistan Region's political map shifts in Iraq's 2021 parliamentary election

Voters walk into a polling station in Sulaimani on October 10, 2021 (NRT Digital Media)

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SULAIMANI — Iraq’s parliamentary election showed important changes in the political make up in the Kurdistan Region, with a large shift occurring in the political balance in Sulaimani governorate in particular.

On Monday (October 11), Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) released the official results a day after a low turnout result across Iraq.

The New Generation Movement, which was founded in 2018 as a response to the policies of the ruling parties, won nine seats in the Region’s governorates and Kirkuk, up from four in 2018.

Meanwhile, the two parties of the Kurdistan Coalition – the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Change Movement (Gorran) – had poor showings, with low turnout and voter frustration taking its toll in Sulaimani and nearly getting shut out of Erbil and Duhok.

As a result, the PUK won eighteen seats, including two in Nineveh and one in Saladin, and Gorran candidates running on the list failing to win any.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) won a total of 32 seats, including twenty-one in the Kurdistan Region’s three governorates with strong showings in Duhok and Erbil in particular, two in Kirkuk, and nine in Nineveh.

The Kurdistan Islamic Union (KIU) won four seats and the Kurdistan Justice Group (KJG) took one.

The New Generation Movement had its best result in Sulaimani governorate, picking up five seats and winning the largest number of votes in four out of five districts.

In Sulaimani’s "1st District” in the northern part of the city, New Generation’s Rebwar Abdulrahman topped the poll and secured more than double the number of votes than his second place competitor. In the southern part of the city, the Movement’s Badrya Ibrahim Rashid also won the most votes.

New Generation candidate Aryan Aziz came in third in the Halabja-based "3rd District,” while Srwa Abdulwahid won the most votes in the "4th District” in Raparin.

In Garmian, the Movement’s Mofaq Hussein nearly won more votes (14,567) than all of the other three people who were elected in the 4-seat constituency combined (16,989).

In Erbil, New Generation candidates won the most votes of any of their competitors in two districts, with Wazira Ahmed winning in the "2nd District,” which includes Koya and Khabat, and Mohamed Ismael in the "4th District,” in eastern Erbil city.

The Movement’s Vian Abdulaziz won the second most in the "3rd District,” in the city’s western sections.

In Kirkuk, New Generation candidate Omed Muhammed won the second most votes in the governorate’s northern "1st District.”

The Movement was unable to secure any seats in Erbil’s "1stDistrict,” Kirkuk’s "2nd District,” or in any of Duhok’s three constituencies.

(NRT Digital Media)