Political parties in provinces controlled by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq will be heading to the country's parliamentary elections on May 12 amid unstable economic and political conditions. In 2014's general election, Kurds, as the second largest population in Iraq, won 62 seats in the 328-seat Iraqi parliament.
The KRG's economy has been in crisis since it took on the central government by selling oil without Baghdad's consent and held a pro-independence referendum, which was also condemned by the international community. In regard to the worsening political and economic situation, some major parties -- including the Goran Movement, Kurdistan Islamic Group, and Kurdistan Islamic Union -- left the coalition government in December 2017. Only the Kurdistan Democratic Party, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and Kurdistan Islamic Movement remain in the Erbil government.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), led by Masoud Barzani, got 25 seats in the Iraqi parliament in the last general election and 38 seats in KRG's parliament. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan has been considered the strongest party after the KDP since it got 21 seats in Baghdad. Some claim the party has been in a crisis after Jalal Talabani, one of its founders, died on October 3, 2017.
The Gorran Movement became a main opposition party. It targets corruption in the region and holds 9 seats in the Iraqi parliament. The Kurdistan Islamic Union, which is known to have close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, captured four seats in Baghdad.
It also has a considerable amount of supporters in Sulaymaniyah and Halabja regions of northern Iraq. The Kurdistan Islamic Group, led by Ali Bapir, got 3 seats in Iraqi capital.