New Analysis in Advance of Kurdish Elections

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Contact: Megan Ortagus
(863) 398-8164
July 24, 2009

ISW's 2009 Kurdish Elections Backgrounder provides a unique look at the region’s political players and governing history.

Washington, D.C. - The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) today released the 2009 Kurdish Elections Backgrounder, written by ISW Managing Director, James Danly. This timely research details the history of Iraq-Kurdistan dating back to the fall of Saddam Hussein's control of the region in 1992. This backgrounder also discusses the Kurdish Regional Government's (KRG) July 25, 2009, elections in which a new President and 111 members of the Kurdish National Assembly will be chosen.

ISW 2009 Kurdish Elections Backgrounder can be found here:

"Tensions between the central government in Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) have grown steadily more strained,” explained ISW Managing Director James Danly. “Understanding the political dynamics in Saturday’s Kurdish elections is essential to understanding the political movements that are inflaming the Arab-Kurd tensions that undermine the stability of Iraq."

Key research from this backgrounder includes:

  • Current Kurdish President Massoud Barzani is likely to win the Presidency again iwth Barham Salih rising to power as the Prime Minister if his Kurdistani List takes the majority of seats in the national assembly.
  • Polls indicate that half of the population in Kurdistan believes that the Change List will present a serious challenge to the Kurdistani List. Among young voters, there is a virtual tie between the Kurdistani List and the Change List.
  • The advent of the Change List represents a fundamental shift in the politics of Kurdistan. A political process which once has been dominated by the elite decision-makers of two established parties will now contend with a third party, whose ultimate influence at the polls is yet to be seen.

Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is a private, nonpartisan, not-for-profit institution whose goal is to educate current and future decision makers and thereby enhance the quality of policy debates.  The Institute’s work is addressed to government officials and legislators, teachers and students, business executives, professionals, journalists, and all citizens interested in a serious understanding of war and government policy