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Syrian Kurds Press on With Elections Despite Divisions
By Sardar Mlla Drwish

Kurds in northern Syria are proceeding with elections as they aim for a federal system of government in Syria, despite the Syrian regime's disapproval and Turkey's anger. The third and last phase of voting in the election will take place in January, when voters choose members of the Democratic People's Council of North Syria.

The first phase of the voting launched Sept. 22, with elections in 3,700 communes -- smaller provincial units in residential neighborhoods within the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, also called Rojava. More than 12,000 candidates participated.

On Dec. 5, the High Electoral Commission announced during a press conference in Amouda that turnout for the second phase of local council elections reached 69%. Seven electoral lists, as well as thousands of candidates, took part in those Dec. 1 elections in three areas: Hasakah (Jazeera province) in the northeast; the Euphrates (Tell Abyad and Kobani); and Afrin, which also includes parts of eastern Aleppo province, known as al-Shahba. The elections included 21 parties representing Kurds, Arabs, Christians and Assyrians from Rojava.

Read the full story here.

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