Kurdish party behind referendum wins regional polls in Iraq

Kurdish party behind referendum wins regional polls in Iraq

BAGHDAD: The Iraqi Kurdish party behind last year’s ill-fated independence referendum has won the most seats in parliamentary elections held in the autonomous Kurdish region, authorities said Sunday.

The elections commission says the Kurdistan Democratic Party won 45 seats, 12 short of an outright majority in the 111-seat body.

Kurdish voters endorsed independence in a referendum last year that was marked by low turnout. Iraq’s central government refused to accept the results, and responded by seizing control of the mixed, multi-ethnic oil-city of Kirkuk and other territories.

The elections commission announced the results of the September 30 vote on Sunday.

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan came in second, with 21 seats.

The Gorran party came in third. It accused the PUK and KDP of vote-rigging and fraud.

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