Iraq and Gulf Analysis

The Iraqi Islamic Party Publishes the Revised Seat Distribution

Posted by Reidar Visser on Friday, 4 December 2009 12:20

[Update 5 December 16:30 CET: The Iraqi parliament has adjourned after failing to reach a quorum. It will meet again tomorrow, which may be the last chance for averting a second veto of the election law]

Today, the Iraqi Islamic Party has published the revised seat distribution according to the second amendment to the election law, given as “seats 2010 (2)” below. There is reason to believe these figures are correctly based on 2005 statistics of the total population (as per the constitutional requirement) instead of registered voters, since the disputed Nineveh/KRG discrepancy is less now: In 2005 the KRG governorates had 15.2% of the governorate seats compared to 8.3% for Nineveh; in this apportionment the three Kurdish governorates have been reduced to 13.7% whereas Nineveh has been increased to 9.7%.

In other words, the negative impact of the second amendment on the Sunni-majority areas is less than some feared in the immediate wake of its passage in parliament. Nevertheless, there is a desire among local leaders both in the north and the south (which also stand to lose to Baghdad under the new arrangement) to hold on to the quotas acquired in the first apportionment based on up-to-date statistics, and there is currently talk about expanding the total seats to 325 to allow for one extra seat for Sulaymaniyya and Dahuk, and to otherwise revert to the quotas based on the 2009 statistics.

At any rate, the release of these figures is helpful to the debate in terms of identifying and assessing the remaining points of controversy. Two problems with the IIP press release: Anbar is not mentioned. Presumably it keeps its 14 seats. Second, that means the total of seats is 307, as per the first apportionment. Except that the second amendment has stipulated 5% compensatory seats plus 8 minority seats, which would seem to mean a new total of 331 seats unless the minority seats are taken from the compensatory quota, as under the first version of the amended law [or the minority seats can be taken from the governorate seats, as explained in comment no. 3 below].

Governorate Seats









2010 (2004 estimate, second version of law)

Seats 2010 (2) Change between 2010 (1) and 2010 (2)
Basra 18 15 24 20 25 +1
Maysan 7 6 10 8 9 -1
Dhi Qar 12 12 18 16 17 -1
Muthanna 5 5 7 6 7
Qadisiyya 8 8 11 10 10 -1
Babel 11 12 16 17 16
Najaf 8 8 12 11 11 -1
Karbala 6 7 10 8 9 -1
Wasit 8 8 11 11 10 -1
Baghdad 59 56 68 72 72 +4
Anbar 9 11 14 15 14?
Salahaddin 8 10 12 13 11 -1
Diyala 10 12 13 16 14 +1
Nineveh 19 22 31 28 29 -2
Kirkuk 9 7 12 9 12
Sulaymaniyya 15 15 15 19 17 +2
Arbil 13 12 14 15 15 +1
Dahuk 7 4 9 5 9
Subtotals 230 230 307 299 307?
Compensation and minority seats 45 45 16 24 16
Total 275 275 323 323 323?

3 Responses to “The Iraqi Islamic Party Publishes the Revised Seat Distribution”

  1. My understanding was that the 5% compensatory seats included minorities in the new draft as well, or am I mistaken? It would clearly benefit smaller parties if it were increased to 16 excluding minority seats, but I can’t see what interest the incumbent parties would have had in doing that.

  2. These figures differ from Niqash’s partial figures which gave Diyala 13 (not 14) and Ninevah 28 (not 29). It also gave Anbar 13.
    I’m not sure where it’s or the IIP’s figures come from – are these all unofficial estimates or do they come from an source at the IHEC?

  3. Reidar Visser said

    Justin, what makes me wonder about the figures in the Niqash article is the expression “as the basis for voter numbers”. The federal supreme court has made it perfectly clear that “voter numbers” (presumably meaning registered voters?) are of no relevance in calculating the seats (as was erroneously done in 2005). Confusingly, I cannot find that expression having been used in the Arabic translation of the article! The IIP figures were released by Salim al-Jibburi who is their representative on the legal committee and who should know what he is talking about.

    On re-reading the amendments, I find that the minority seats are to be taken from the governorate quotas. That makes room for the 5% to be taken from the whole (307+16).
    تحتسب من المقاعد المخصصة لمحافظاتهم

    PS Also, with the current realities in Iraqi politics and relatively few small parties that are truly nationwide, most of the compensatory seats will not go towards enhancing proportionality nationally but rather are doled out as rewards to the big winning parties.

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