Very preliminary results, Iraq elections:

- Signs of a major surge for opposition candidates across Kurdistan; if the trend continues, the New Generation will easily surpass PUK.
- Extremely low turnout across much of Iraq, including in politically charged cities such as Kirkuk.
According to very preliminary results: in every single ballot box reported in Sulauimani province: New Generation's candidates are far ahead of PUK; meanwhile, in Duhok, the Kurdistan Islamic Union candidate appears to be leading in the Duhok/Amedi electoral zone, for now.
Still early but the trend continues so far: New Generation appears to be doing exceptionally well in Sulimania but also in Erbil and Kirkuk.

PUK is doing very poorly but even KDP appears to be doing much more poorly than expected both in Duhok and Erbil.

According to early, unofficial preliminary results:

All the 11 candidates that New Generation filed will likely win seats.
Change movement, which once was challenging PUK and KDP rule before it was co-opted, will take zero seats.
New Generation was the only movement in Kurdistan that officially opposed the 2017 referendum for independence and called for a 'no' vote. The movement's leader, Shaswar Abdulwahid, owns NRT TV which is a very popular news channel in the Kurdish speaking parts of northern Iraq.
One thing to note: it is early and tricky to say how many seats each party have won because the special voting (of security forces and IDPs) may change some of the results.
According to unofficial results, the voting turnout in Kirkuk is only: 22%.

Kirkuk is one of the most diverse provinces in Iraq and used to be one of the most politically changed provinces due to its disputed status between Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen.

Iraqi Kurdish website BwarNews's estimate of seats for the Kurdish parties in #IraqElections2021:

KDP: 25-26 seats (nearly 10 will be outside KRG controlled areas: Ninevah, Kirkuk)
PUK: 14-15
New Generation: 9-10
Islamic Union: 2-4
Justice Group: 1-2
Change movement: 0-1
Few things that may help KDP & PUK in #IraqElections2021:

- Extremely low turnout due to an active boycott movement who believe elections won't change anything
- Special voting of security forces, IDPs
- Disputed territories outside KRG-controlled areas such as Mosul and Kirkuk.
Among the Yazidi vote in Sinjar and IDP camps in Duhok:

KDP appears to be doing very well but the PUK candidate is also doing surprisingly not bad (he's a chance to take one of the three seats). However, the pro-PKK candidate has done very poorly and is unlikely to win a seat.
Even the Yazidi quota seat which is contested differently from the 3 other seats of Sinjar is likely to be taken by a pro-KDP candidate (the seat is currently controlled by an anti-KDP Yazidi).

This is going to be the first time KDP dominates the entire Yazidi representation.
Voting turnout in Iraqi Kurdistan (unofficial):

Erbil: 43%
Sulaimani: 38%
Duhok: 52%
Kirkuk: 23%

Also, invalid votes among those who voted were unusually high.
Faisal Karimkhan, the brother of the chief of the Bradost tribe who was PUK's candidate in the north Erbil electoral zone appears to have failed to win a seat.

KDP was particularly keen to take him down due to historical animosity between Barzani and Bradost tribe.
PUK has taken seats in each of the Salahaddin and Diyala provinces in central Iraq.

A PUK candidate has won a seat in Salahaddin province for the first time.

Meanwhile, a PUK candidate has won the most votes in the Kurdish Shia majority town of Khanaqin in Diyala province.
KDP Yazidi candidates have performed well even in the Sinjar region including in the YBS-dominated town of Snuni; KDP candidates were blocked from entering the Sinjar region by pro-PKK and pro-PMF folks during the election campaign.
Unofficial results (including special voting) of the three KRG-controlled provinces of Iraqi Kurdistan:

KDP: 23 seats (+4 compared to 2018)
PUK: 9 seats (-1)
New Generation: 8 seats (+5)
Islamic Union: 3 seats (+1)
Justice Group: 1 seat (-1)
Change movement: 0 seat (-5)
All the 3 seats of Sinjar's electoral zone were won by KDP candidates (for which the Yazidi IDPs in Duhok were also able to vote).

The three candidates: Mahma Khalil, former Sinjar mayor, Viyan Dakhil, former Iraqi MP and Majid Shingali.

The Yazidi quota seat is still disputed.
In the KDP-stronghold Duhok province: in the first electoral zone which covers Duhok and Amedi cities, the candidate of Kurdistan Islamic Union (pro-Muslim brotherhood) has won the most votes; he has garnered nearly 40% of the votes in the entire zone.
KDP media claims their party have won 33 to 34 seats in the Iraqi parliamentary elections (5-6 seats increase compared to 2018):

Erbil: 11 seats
Duhok: 9 seats
Ninevah: 9 seats
Sulaimani: 3 seats
Kirkuk: 2 seats

This is unofficial and only claimed by KDP's media
Voter turnout in the three KRG-controlled provinces of Iraqi Kurdistan: 44%.

This is by far the lowest voter turnout on record.
Sulaimani province, each party's performance by the number of votes they garnered:

1. New Generation: 90024
2. PUK: 80100
3. KDP: 39650

PUK has won seven seats and New Generation five because NG only filed five candidates in the province. KDP has ranked third with three seats.
Iraqi High Electoral Commission is set to announce official preliminary results tomorrow. That will give us a clearer idea about each party's votes and seats.

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More from @abdullahawez

12 Oct
There are speculations and analyses as to why the PUK candidate in Erbil from the Bradost tribe failed to win a seat. Many question the results and claim there was tampering due to Bradostis are Barzani's historical anonymity and the candidate was endorsed by Lahur Talabani. 1/3
Before the election, Masoud Barzani's brother reportedly visited the north Erbil areas and provided money and other resources to take down Faisal Karimkhan from the Bradost tribe; he is said to have told people to make sure he doesn't mind no matter the price. 2/3
And there were reports before the election that KDP has agreed with PUK to give them three seats in Duhok and Ninavah as part of an agreement to tame Lahur Talabani; now, suddenly PUK has indeed won seats in Duhok and 2/3 in Ninavah (they'd one before). How? we still don't know.
Read 5 tweets
9 Oct
The special voting in Iraqi Kurdistan has been a real surprise both within security forces and the IDPs:

1. The votes of PUK and especially KDP has considerably declined, for instance in Duhok KIU candidate's vote has increased four-fold within security forces compared to 2018.
2. Turnout within the security forces (which're owned by KDP in Duhok, Erbil & by PUK in Sulaimanya) has declined and according to preliminary results, some 10,000 KDP zeravani have intentionally invalidated their votes; a silent opposition within the security forces is growing.
3. According to some reports, the turnout in the Yazidi camps has also been a surprise: only 24,ooo people in the IDP camps voted.

Now, the Yazidi candidates in Sinjar have a more serious chance to take at least one seat, plus the Yazidi quota. We will see tomorrow!
Read 6 tweets
7 Aug
Aug 4: Erbil court convicted five culprits in the assassination case of an Iranian Kurdish opposition leader (the very first ever such trial.)

Aug 5: Nechirvan Barzani attends Ebrahim Raisi’s inauguration.

Aug 6: another Iranian opposition leader assassinated in Erbil.
To put the significance of the August 4 convictions into context: since 1991, 380 Iranian Kurdish opposition members have been assassinated in KRI and this was the very first time anyone was put on trial in KRI for the assassinations.
And while everyone was so busy with Kurdistan flag being hoisted in Tehran on Thursday, the very same day an Iranian opposition leader was kidnapped in Erbil and found dead the next day on Friday evening. His assassination was confirmed this morning:
Read 4 tweets
14 Apr
Iran-backed militia simultaneously targets Erbil airport, where US troops stationed and a Turkish base in Bashiqa near Mosul tonight; at least one rocket landed near the airport and three rockets landed near the Turkish base, a 12-year-old civilian girl is reportedly injured.
The Turkish defence ministry says one Turkish soldier has been killed in the rocket attack on their base in Bashiqa near Mosul in northern Iraq.
Quick notes:

- KDP's increasingly public anti-Iran stance & PMF, esp following the Iranian movie about Masoud Barzani, is a huge mistake that KRG can ill-afford.

- US is unlikely to effectively respond to Iran's increasing attacks judging by their response to the other attack.
Read 5 tweets
26 Mar
There is only one article, as far as I can tell, about KDP-PKK dynamics in the mainstream US media and it is full of inaccurate and very biased reporting that makes it hard to take anything they say re: Kurds seriously. I will spell it some of them:…
1. Here, @shellykittleson cites my tweet to say PKK has 37 bases in Iraqi Kurdistan while the tweet actually says TURKEY has 37 bases in Iraqi Kurdistan. How can one make such a basic mistake?
2. @shellykittleson claims Iraq had deployed 6000 additional soldiers to Sinjar citing AKP’s Daily Sabah which is again outright inaccurate. Iraq has never had more than 2500 soldiers in Sinjar since 2017. After Sinjar Agreement, Iraq only deployed 1000 troops (+ had 1500 there):
Read 10 tweets
22 Mar
Syrian Kurdish National Council (KNC) said in a statement they’ve celebrated Newroz in several areas in Afrin.

1. Barzani appears to have agreed to legitimise the status quo in Afrin in return for KNC opening offices there
2. PYD-KNC talks practically dead.

Sharran in NW Afrin:
Here is more background on the meeting between Barzani and head of Syrian opposition in early March:
PYD leader Aldar Khelil appears to refer to the normalisation by KNC in Afrin:
“It is not possible to agree given what happened to Afrin. We cannot accept it.”
Read 4 tweets

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