On 1 July, the two ruling parties in the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) ambushed the region’s opposition by passing a law extending President Masoud Barzani’s mandate into a third term. The vote, which also postponed elections scheduled for September sparked a brawl in parliament and water was thrown at the speaker, according to opposition press, which dubbed the move both “unconstitutional” and “dictatorial”.

A postponement of elections had been expected, but a politician from the opposition Gorran party told MEES last month that “they can try it but we won’t let them do it.” Mr Barzani, head of the Irbil-based Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) won a landslide victory in 2009 presidential elections, garnering almost 70% of votes cast. (CONTINUED - 398 WORDS)