Iraq’s regional Kurdistan parliament extends legislative term for 1 year

The lawmakers of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region have voted to extend the current four-year legislative term of the regional parliament for one more year.

In a session held on Sunday, the 111-seat parliament passed the bill with a majority of 80 lawmakers, with many Kurdish opposition lawmakers abstaining from Islamic parties and independent lawmakers, Xinhua news agency reported, citing a statement the regional parliament.

The goal of the bill is to prevent a legal vacuum and ensure the smooth function of constitutional institutions, according to the statement.

The extension came after the Kurdish political parties failed to hold regional parliamentary elections on October 1 this year, a date set by regional president Nechirvan Barzani in February.

The failure to hold elections came as a result of differences between the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) over electoral districts and the quota of seats for ethnic and religious components in the region.

The regional parliamentary elections were held on September 30, 2018, and the KDP took the lead with 45 seats, and the PUK came in the second place with 21 seats out of 111.

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