Iraqi Kurdistan parliamentary election, 2013

Iraqi Kurdistan parliamentary election, 2013
Iraqi Kurdistan
21 September 2013

Total of 111 seats of the Kurdistan National Assembly
56 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Nechirvan Barzani Nawshirwan Mustafa Barham Salih
Party KDP Gorran PUK
Last election 30 25 29
Seats won 38 24 18
Seat change Increase8 Decrease1 Decrease11
Popular vote 743,984 476,736 350,500
Percentage 37.79 % 24.21 % 17.80%

Voting took place in the red and purple areas

Prime Minister before election

Nechirvan Barzani

Elected Prime Minister

Nechirvan Barzani

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Iraqi Kurdistan

The Iraqi Kurdistan legislative elections of 2013 took place on 21 September 2013. It was the fourth legislative election in Iraqi Kurdistan since 1992. The candidates were competing for a total of 111 seats out of which 11 seats were reserved for minorities.[1] According to the Iraqi High Electoral Commission, there were 366 female and 736 male candidates for the elections.[2] A total of 2,653,743 people were eligible to vote throughout the three provinces of Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Dohuk of which 74% cast their ballots.[3][4]


The legislative elections together with presidential and provincial were originally planned for September 21. However, in the months leading to the elections the parliament extended Massoud Barzani’s term for another two years. Meanwhile, IHEC delayed the provincial elections until November 21. Under Iraqi Kurdistan Election law political parties were allowed to campaign from August 28 until September 17th, four days before voting.[5] The Peshmerga and police voted on September 19, in order for them to be able to guard the voting polls on September 21.[6][7]

The election marked the first time the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan were running as individual parties since 1992. The Kurdistan Democratic Party was expected to win the most votes. The party has had a strong backing in the provinces of Duhok and Erbil and no challengers. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan meanwhile was facing competition from the Movement for Change. The Movement for Change had in the previous elections secured a surprising 25 seats in Sulaymaniyah, which had until then been a stronghold for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan also faced uncertainty due to internal conflicts and the absence of its leader Jalal Talabani who was recovering from a stroke.


On 5 September, a gunman opened fire on a campaign rally by the Movement for Change in the city of Sulaymaniyah, wounding one person.[8] In the same week, clashes broke out between the opposition Movement for Change and PUK and KDP supporters that led to 12 people, mostly policemen, being wounded.[9]

Notable participating entities

List No Party Kurdish Name Party Leaders
101 Kurdistan Islamic Movement بزوتنەوەی ئیسلامیی کوردستان
Bizûtinewey Îslamiy Kurdistan
Shaykh Uthman Abd-Aziz
102 Patriotic Union of Kurdistan یەکێتیی نیشتمانیی کوردستان
Yekêtiy Nîştimaniy Kurdistan
Jalal Talabani
103 Kurdistan Conservative Party پارتی پارێزگارانی کوردستان
Partî Parêzgaranî Kurdistan
Zaid Surchi
104 Kurdistan Islamic Group کۆمەڵی ئیسلامی کوردستان-عێراق
Komelley Îslamiy Kurdistaê / Îraq
Ali Bapir
105 Kurdistan Islamic Union یەکگرتووی ئیسلامیی کوردستان
Yekgirtûy Îslamiy Kurdistan
Mohammed Faraj
106 Reform and Development List لیستی چاکسازی و گەشە
Lîstî Çaksazî u Geşe
107 Communist Party of Kurdistan – Iraq (Freedom List) ئازادی
Partî Azadî
Kamal Shakir
108Future Party ئایندە
Hizbî Ayinde
109 Democratic National Union of Kurdistan یەکێتی نەتەوەیی دیموکراتی کوردستان
Yekêtiy Neteweyiy Dîmukratî Kurdistan
110 Kurdistan Democratic Party پارتی دیموکراتی کوردستان
Partî Dîmukratî Kurdistan
Massoud Barzani
111 Kurdistan Socialist Democratic Party حزبی سۆسیالیست دیموکراتی کوردستان
Hizbî Sosyal Dîmukratî Kurdistan
Mohammad Hajji Mahmoud
113 Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party پارتی چارەسەری دیموکراتی کوردستان
Partî Çareserî Dîmukratî Kurdistan
Diyar Gharib and Nadjibeh Umar
115 Third Direction ئاڕاستەی سێیەم
Arrastey Sêyem
116 People'e Rights' List مافی گەل
Lîstî Mafî Gel
117 Movement for Change گۆڕان
Bizûtinewey Gorran
Nawshirwan Mustafa
118 The Rights of People of Kurdistan لیستی مافەکانی خەڵکی کوردستان
Mafekanî Xellkî Kurdistan
119 The Independents لیستی سەربەخۆکان
120 Turkmen Change and Renewal گۆڕان و نوێبوونەوەی تورکمان
Gorran u Nwêbûnewey Turkman
121 Erbil Turkmen List لیستی ھەولێری تورکمانی
Lîstî Turkmanî Hewlêr
122 Iraqi Turkmen Front بەرەی تورکمانی عێراقی
Berey Turkmanî Êraq
Sadettin Ergeç
123 Turkmen Democratic Movement لیستی بزووتنەوەی دیموکراتی تورکمان
Lîstî Bizûtinewey Dîmukratî Turkman
124 Turkmen Development List لیستی پێشکەوتووی تورکمان
Lîstî Pêşkewtûy Turkman
126 Assyrian Democratic Movement لیستی میسۆپۆتامیا
Kurranî Dû Rûbareke
Yonadam Kanna
127 Chaldean Syriac Assyrian United List لیستی کۆمەڵەی کلدان و سریان و ئاشوورییەکان
Girdbûnewey Kildanî Siryanî Aşûrî
Sarkis Aghajan


Allocation of seats.

No party won enough votes to form a government outright. The Kurdistan Democratic Party won the most votes in Erbil and Duhok. The province of Sulaymaniyah was heavily divided. The Movement for Change won the second most votes which made it the prime partner for the Kurdistan Democratic Party to form a coalition with. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, unexpectedly, lost more than a third of its seats.[10]

The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan announced that it respected the results. Soon after the announcement high-ranking member of the party resigned accepting responsibility for the bad results.[11] Both Islamists and socialists made gains. A total of 77 men and 34 women were elected.

Political entity 2013 2009 Change
Votes % Seats Seats Seats +/-
Kurdistan Democratic Party 743,984 37.79 38 30 Increase8
Movement for Change 476,173 24.21 24 25 Decrease1
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan 350,500 17.80 18 29 Decrease11
Kurdistan Islamic Union 186,741 9.49 10 6 Increase4
Kurdistan Islamic Group 118,575 6.01 6 4 Increase2
Kurdistan Islamic Movement 21,834 1.1 1 2 Decrease1
Kurdistan Socialist Democratic Party12,501 0.6 1 2 Decrease1
Communist Party of Kurdistan – Iraq 12,392 0.6 1 1 Steady
Kurdistan Toilers' Party 8,681 0.4 1 Steady Increase1
Future Party 3,868 0.20 Steady 1 Decrease1
Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party 3,605 0.18 Steady Steady
The Rights of People of Kurdistan 2,817 0.14 Steady Steady
Kurdistan Conservative Party 2,420 0.12 Steady Steady
People's Rights List 2,005 0.10 Steady Steady
Democratic National Union of Kurdistan 1,717 0.09 Steady Steady
1,323 0.06 Steady Steady
The Independents 868 0.04 Steady Steady
Total 1,950,004 100 100 100 Steady
Turkmen minority reserved seats
Turkmen Development List 5,259 44.2 2 Steady Increase2
Erbil Turkmen 1,951 16.4 1 1 Steady
Turkmen Change and Renewal 1,926 16.2 1 Steady Increase1
Iraqi Turkmen Front 1,753 14.7 1 1 Steady
Turkmen Democratic Movement1,002 8.4 Steady 3 Decrease3
Total 11,891 100 5 5 Steady
Assyrian minority reserved seats[14]
Assyrian Democratic Movement 6,34548.2 2 2 Steady
Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Popular Council 5,730 43.5 2 3Decrease1
Sons of Mesopotamia 1,091 8.3 1 Steady Increase1
Total 13,166 100 5 5 Steady
Armenian minority reserved seat[14]
Berunt Nissan Markos 531 70.1 1 - Increase1
Aram Shahine Dawood 227 29.9 - 1 Decrease1
Total 758 100 1 1 Steady
Overall Total 1,968,775 111 111 Steady Steady

Results by Province

Party Silêmanî Hawlêr Dahuk Total
Kurdistan Democratic Party92,500340,668310,816743,984
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan234,25291,07225,176350,500
Gorran Movement333,961130,00012,775476,736
Kurdistan Islamic Union84,08146,00056,660186,741
Kurdistan Islamic Group67,28546,3004,814118,399


  1. "IHEC extends candidate and coalition registration period for parliamentary election in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq". Independent High Electoral Commission of Iraq. 17 June 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  2. "Despite Uneven Playing Field, Women Hope for Greater Wins in Kurdistan Polls". 4 September 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  4. Sharifi, Amir. "The Dialectics of Democracy in Iraqi Kurdistan". Rudaw. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  5. Chomani, Kamal. "Iraqi Kurdistan Elections Could Be Turning Point". Ekurd. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  6. "Iraqi Kurd forces vote for regional assembly". Associated Press. 19 September 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  7. Faruqi, Anwar. "Kurdistan Region: Local Elections Global Impact". Rudaw. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  8. "One wounded in attack on Iraqi Kurdistan's opposition party". 6 September 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  9. "Kurds Clash Pre-Election, 12 Wounded". Reuters. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  10. "KDP promises, Change waits, PUK respects and Islamists appeals preliminary results". Ekurd. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  11. "Iraq's First Lady Hero Talabani resigns chairmanship of PUK". Ekurd. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  13. "IHEC announced final results of Iraq's Kurdistan Parliamentary elections 2013". ekurd. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  14. 1 2,50336.html
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