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Voters Go To Polls In Iraq's Kurdish Region


Voters read electoral lists at a polling station in the northern city of Irbil, in Iraq's Kurdistan region, on September 21.

Voters read electoral lists at a polling station in the northern city of Irbil, in Iraq's Kurdistan region, on September 21.

Voting has begun in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region to elect a regional parliament.

For the first time since 1992, the two main parties in the region -- Masud Barzani's Kurdish Democratic Party and Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) -- are competing against each other.

In the 2005 and 2009 elections, they ran on a joint list.

They have also rotated the region's premiership on a two-year basis. That agreement, too, has now ended.

A third contender hoping to make a strong showing in the polls is the Movement for Change (Gorran) founded in 2009 by Nawshirwan Mustafa.

Based on reporting by dpa and AFP
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