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