Change in Iraqi Kurdistan (Update)

There are numerous reports that the third party coalition in Iraqi Kurdistan, the Change List, is likely to gain thirty or forty seats in the region's 111-member parliament, wresting a significant amount of control from the ruling duopoly parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. In his take on early reports, Juan Cole writes:
If the Change List were to capture a significant number of seats in the 111-member Kurdistan Regional Government parliament, it could have an impact at the margins on the way the confederacy is governed. But the likelihood is that the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Massoud Barzani and Talabani's PUK will continue to run the place jointly, and Barzani will retain all the extensive prerogatives of the presidency.
The coalition's success has been driven by widespread dissatisfaction with the region's ruling parties. As Sam Dagher notes in the New York Times, "many Kurds consider the governing parties — which control the government, the security forces and the economy — rife with corruption, nepotism and cronyism." On that score, if the goal of Operation Iraqi Freedom was to deliver US-style democracy to the people of Iraq, we'd have to declare it a success.

No comments: