Iraq and Gulf Analysis

Archive for January 11th, 2009

The Sadrist Parliamentary Bloc Confirms Its Support of Two Electoral Lists

Posted by Reidar Visser on Sunday, 11 January 2009 23:59

The Sadrist bloc has today officially confirmed that it does indeed support the “Blamelessness and Reconstruction” list in the forthcoming local elections (list 376; as discussed earlier here), in addition to the “Independent Trend of the Noble Ones” (Tayyar al-ahrar al-mustaqill, list 284). In Maysan, for example, some Sadrist members of the current provincial council now appear on list 284; others are on list 376. List 284 is also running in some northern governorates where 376 does not take part, such as Nineveh and Diyala (but not Anbar and Salahaddin).

This development underlines the trend towards political participation among the Sadrist bloc in the Iraqi parliament, which was invigorated in 2008 as the party became a key player in the 22 July alliance that challenged the government by demanding early elections (the provincial powers law in February) and special treatment of Kirkuk (the elections law, finally adopted in September). This alliance continues to exercise strong influence in the Iraqi parliament, and Sadrists are currently vocal proponents for a drive to reject Ayad al-Samarrai as new parliamentary speaker after he was nominated by the pro-government Tawafuq alliance (which itself is in the process of being reduced to the Iraqi Islamic Party due to defections to 22 July). The 22 July parties, a cross-sectarian alliance of Islamist and secularist parties, challenge the establishment and their preference for a state model of ethno-religious quota-sharing (muhasasa).

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