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Elections unleash political flux in Kurdistan

The upstart Gorran party is likely to take control of key posts, upending the old political order and marking a new era of intra-Kurdish volatility.
Peshmerga voting at a special polling station in Erbil, April 28, 2014 (Patrick Osgood/IRAQ OIL REPORT)

SULAIMANIYA - Iraqi Kurds need a strong showing in the country's April 30 elections to ensure they retain leverage in Baghdad, but on the streets of the autonomous Kurdistan region, there is little talk of the national scene.

When citizens go to the polls, they will also be casting ballots - for the first time in eight years - to determine the leadership of three provincial governments that comprise Kurdistan. The outcome of this vote will likely solidify a massive change in the balance of power among the main Kurdish parties and mark a new period of political uncertainty in the region.

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