The region is officially governed by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), 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 name Kurdistan literally means "Land of the Kurds". The suffix -stan is Persian for "place of" or "country". In English translations of the Constitution of Iraq, it is called "Kurdistan", four times in the phrase "region of Kurdistan" and once in the phrase "Kurdistan region". The regional government calls it the "Kurdistan Region".
The full name of the government is the "Kurdistan Regional Government", abbreviated "KRG". Kurds also refer to the region as Başûrê Kurdistanê or Başûrî Kurdistan ("Southern Kurdistan"), referring to its geographical location within the whole of Kurdistan. During the Baath Party administration in the 1970s and 1980s, the region was called the "Kurdish Autonomous Region".