After Iraqi Kurdistan’s Thwarted Independence Bid


Backlash to the 2017 independence referendum bolstered family rule within Iraq’s two main Kurdish parties.

  • ICG

Internal democracy has eroded; ties between the parties have frayed.

Only strong institutions in Erbil and renewed inter-party cooperation can help Iraqi Kurdistan to reach a sustainable settlement with Baghdad on outstanding issues. 

  • What’s new? 

Elections in 2018 confirmed that the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) remain the dominant forces in Iraqi Kurdish politics.

But fallout from the 2017 Kurdish independence referendum has undermined inter-party cooperation and thus weakened the two parties’ bargaining position vis-à-vis…

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