The electoral commission announced on Saturday, October 20, the victory of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in the September 30 parliamentary elections held in Iraq's Kurdistan region; the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) came in second. Kurdish opposition parties - including the Gorran Movement, the New Generation Movement, the Kurdistan Islamic Union, and the Kurdistan Islamic Group - have rejected the results, denouncing various electoral violations (fraud, ballot box stuffing). Associated protests are possible in the coming days and weeks.
Relations between Baghdad and the Kurdistan region have deteriorated over the past year since a referendum for Kurdish independence, which was declared illegal by Baghdad and led to economic and military retaliation.
Individuals in Iraq are advised to closely monitor the situation. The security environment in Iraq remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas with proper security protocols in place, other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to all travel.
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