Iraqi Kurdistan, officially called the Kurdistan Region by the Iraqi constitution, is a proto-state located in the north of Iraq and constitutes the country's only autonomous region. It is frequently referred to as Southern Kurdistan, as Kurds generally consider it to be one of the four parts of Greater Kurdistan, which also includes parts of southeastern Turkey, northern Syria, and northwestern Iran.
The region is officially governed by the Kurdistan Regional Government, with the capital being Erbil. Kurdistan is a parliamentary democracy with its own regional Parliament that consists of 111 seats. Masoud Barzani, who was initially elected as president in 2005, was re-elected in 2009. In August 2013 the parliament extended his presidency for another two years. His presidency concluded on 19 August 2015 after the political parties failed to reach an agreement over extending his term.
The new Constitution of Iraq defines the Kurdistan Region as a federal entity of Iraq, and establishes Kurdish and Arabic as Iraq's joint official languages. The four governorates of Duhok, Hawler, Silemani, and Halabja comprise around 46,861 square kilometres and have a population of 5.8 million.