Fate of Kurdish presidency divides Iraqi Kurds -al Monitor

Although democratic institutions have been able to establish themselves in the Kurdish autonomous area better than most places in the Middle East, the KRG is still in a process of transition. In addition to its democratic side, the political system is still dependent on patronage organized around the two main factions, the PUK and the KDP, and corruption and nepotism are serious problems. Not surprisingly, there is a tension between the two parts of the system. Democracy depends on the possibility of a regular changes in government and leadership, patronage depends on their continuity. As the current term of President Massoud Barzani comes to an end, this tension is being highlighted. There are questions about whether it is time for Barzani to step aside and whether it is time to change the political system to break up the power of the two factions. Of course, all of this is happening with the war going on in the background. This is not a crisis in the sense that it will cause the collapse of the Kurdish political system, or lead to open factional conflict. However, it is a serious political dilemma with long term consequences in terms of trust and democratic culture.