ERBIL, Iraq, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Kurdish lawmakers in Iraq stand to lose seats in the provincial councils of some of the disputed territories in the election Saturday, officials say.
"I don't know how many seats Kurds will lose in these councils, but definitely the number of Kurdish seats will be decreased," said Mahmoud Othman, a prominent Kurdish politician.
Kurdish President Massoud Barzani in September said a large portion of the 2005 vote in some of the northern portions of Diyala province, where Kurds claim authority, went to the Kurdish parties in part because of a Sunni boycott of those elections. With Sunnis expected to return to the polls Saturday, however, Kurds may see losses in Diyala, Salah ad-Din and Ninawa provinces, the Kurdish Globe reported Thursday.
Kurds hold de facto control over parts of those provinces that lay outside their recognized provincial borders of Erbil, Dahuk and Sulaimaniya provinces. Kurdish officials stated they are making no claims on other provinces during the Saturday elections but recognize gains there are important nonetheless.
Iraqis head to the polls Saturday in 14 of the 18 provinces. The vote in the three Kurdish provinces and Kirkuk has been delayed.