Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government Extends Term by a Year

KRG failed to hold mandated elections this month

In a Sunday vote boycotted by most of the opposition, the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) decided to extend the legislative mandate of its own parliament by another year.

This means that the current MPs in the 111-seat parliament retain their seats for additional year, without having to run for reelection. There was supposed to be an election on October 1, but there wasn’t.

The big parties could not agree on districting, nor for quotas for ethnic and religious parties in parliament. No agreements means no election, and today’s vote intends to keep the status quo in place absent a new election.

The possibility of parliaments staying in power without elections is controversial, to say the least,  the failure on voting laws was a loophole for this particular extension.

One of the most well-publicized such matters in recent history was in Yemen, where former Prime Minister Hadi and his parliament kept extending an interim government until a civil war broke out. A protracted war resulted, which continues to this day. Even now, the Saudi government recognizes that pre-war interim government as the current “legitimate” one because no election was ever held. All of this threatens the legitimacy of the KRG.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.