The outcome in Sulaimaniya is likely to strain relations between KDP and the PUK, who have jointly run Kurdistan for most of the last 18 years, most recently under a power-sharing agreement under which they split positions and jobs in the government on a 50-50 basis.Before the afore-mentioned power-sharing agreement, the two parties (which essentially are the personal political fiefdoms of the two most powerful families in the region - the Talabanis and the Barzanis ) were usually at each other's throat - and I don't mean metaphorically speaking. During the 1990s, Saddam was still able to play them off against each other. The PUK is not going to accept lower-tier political status easily. The potential for Kurdistan to become unstable is quite real.
Now that the PUK seems to have lost much of its own support base, it will be regarded as a secondary in the alliance, said Hiwa Osman, Iraq director of the Institute of War and Peace Reporting.
"The KDP is not going to give them 50-50," he said. "They will see them as the junior partner."
Or, might Mr. Maliki find it now opportune to resort to Saddam's old tactic?