On July 25th, the Kurds in northern Iraq went to the polls to vote in the autonomous Kurdish region's presidential and parliamentary elections.

It is all part of the autonomy the Kurds continue to enjoy yhere.

Traditionally, Kurdish politics in Iraq has centred around two ruling clans, the Barzanis and the Talabanis.

But for the first time, the recent elections saw the emergence of a collection of smaller opposition groups.

Perhaps one point that unites most Kurds is their dream of one day cutting their ties with Iraq and establishing a sovereign Kurdish state.

So what can we read from the results of the elections? What are the fault lines of inter-Kurdish disputes? And what of the continuing tensions between the Kurds and the central government in Baghdad?

Our guests this week are Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, the Kurdish regional government high representative to the UK, Mohamad Tofiq, a member of the reformist Change List, and Lydia Khalil, an international affairs fellow in residence at the Council on Foreign Relations.

This episode of Inside Iraq aired from Friday, July 31, 2009.

Source: Al Jazeera