Opposition in Iraqi Kurd elections alleges voting violations

SULAIMANIYAH, Iraq (AP) -The "Change" party has been at the heart of a reform effort aimed at shaking up the political establishment in the three Kurdish-ruled provinces.

The two parties that have dominated the political scene there for decades, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party, have both been accused of corruption, intimidation and failing to provide services.

Iraq's electoral commission says turnout for Saturday's vote was high, at 78 percent. Excitement over the rare show of opposition to the two parties is being credited.

A spokesman for the Change party says it's "very optimistic"
about the outcome, despite its complaints of an unwarranted
extension of polling hours and unregistered voters casting ballots.

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