Massoud Barzani was reelected as president of the northern Iraqi region of Kurdistan with about 70 percent of votes, according to results released on Wednesday.
According to Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC), Barzani garnered 69.57 of the votes in the presidential election while his party, the Kurdistani List, won 57 percent of the vote.
The Kurdistani list is comprised of the two largest Kurdish parties –the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP), headed by Barzani, and the Democratic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), led by Iraqi President Jalal Talibani.
The IHEC also said the opposition party Gorran, Kurdish for “change” made a strong showing in the election taking 23.75 percent of the votes.
Faraj al-Haidari, the commission chief, said counting had been concluded but the results remain “initial” because parties hold the right to challenge the results in a Kurdish appeals court.
According to IHEC, 78 percent of 2.5 million eligible voters participated in Saturday’s election.