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Analysis: Salih’s victory shakes Kurdistan’s political landscape

The KRG's two dominant political parties had been rebuilding a strategic partnership, but their bitter contest over the Iraqi presidency has injected new volatility into their rivalry.
Barham Salih addresses the Suaimani Forum at the American University of Iraq in Sulaimaniya, in March 2015. (Photo credit: AUIS)

ERBIL/SULAIMANIYA - Barham Salih's contentious election as the new president of Iraq is threatening to destabilize a strategic relationship between the autonomous Kurdistan region's two leading political parties.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) had recently been working together to rebuild a decade-old agreement designed to maximize their political leverage in Baghdad while sidelining opposition parties in Kurdistan.

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