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On Nov. 1, 2017, President Massoud Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government, in accordance with legislation passed by the Kurdistan Parliament several days before, stepped down and devolved many of the powers of his office jointly to his nephew Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, the speaker of Parliament and the Judicial Council.However, it is instead an attempt by the KDP to maintain its dominance over the KRG in the wake of the independence referendum, and for the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan to preserve what remains of its long-standing and exclusive power-sharing relationship with the KDP in an increasingly volatile and polarized political environment.After Oct. 16, when the Iraqi central government began to reassert federal authority over the disputed territories in retaliation for the KRG's independence vote, confidence in the KRG as a political system plummeted and calls increased in volume and urgency for President Barzani, the referendum's mastermind, to resign.As Barzani steps down as president, the power of the KDP and PUK politburos will continue to eclipse that of the KRG's democratic institutions.
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