Iraq: Kurdistan’s Government Breakup: Coalition Politics or Lasting Damage?

The politics of Iraqi Kurdistan have attracted derision this summer, and deservedly so: the major parties had two years of President Massoud Barzani’s extended term to tackle precisely the issues that they faced this summer. The parties almost came to a deal– that Massoud would stay until the September 2017 Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) parliamentary elections in return for limiting his powers to military and foreign affairs – but Gorran chose to goad the KDP with a last-minute provocation about Massoud’s elapsed term, and the Barzanis took the bait. Since 19 August the KDP and Gorran have been publicly scrapping in a war of words, leading to this week’s boiling-over of factional tensions.

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