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Iraq Kurdish region gets new president, opposition boycotts

May 28, 2019
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FILE - in this Dec. 22, 2015 file photo, Nechirvan Barzani, then President of KRG, right, speaks during the visit by President of the Italian Senate, Pietro Grasso, in Irbil, Iraq. Iraq's self-governing Kurdish region has elected a new president in a parliamentary vote boycotted by a key opposition party. Former prime minister Nechirvan Barzani will follow his uncle Masoud Barzani in office, who resigned in November 2017 after a failed bid for independence from Iraq. (AP Photo/Seivan M. Salim, File)

IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — Iraq’s self-governing Kurdish region has elected a new president in a parliamentary vote boycotted by a key opposition party.

Former prime minister Nechirvan Barzani will follow his uncle Masoud Barzani in office. The elder Barzani resigned in November 2017 after a failed bid for independence from Iraq.

The Barzani family and their Kurdistan Democratic Party have dominated Iraqi Kurdish politics for generations. The opposition Patriotic Union of Kurdistan stayed away from Tuesday’s vote after coalition talks between the two parties broke down.

The Kurdish region has enjoyed a large degree of autonomy within Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Its forces, known as the peshmerga, have played a key role in the defeat of the Islamic State group in the country.

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